Carrie Billy elected to national college boardJul 12th, 2013 | By tgordon | Category: 25-2: Tribal and Behavioral Health, Tribal College News
The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) president and CEO, Carrie L. Billy, has been elected to the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), a national organization representing the nation’s two-year colleges and their more than 13 million students. Billy will serve as the AACC board’s public at-large representative, speaking for more than 88,000 American Indian and Alaska Native students and community members served by the nation’s 37 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs).
Billy officially took office on July 1 and will serve a three-year term. Comprised of 32 members, the AACC board governs association policy and helps guide the strategic direction of national advocacy for community colleges across the United States. “I am extremely humbled and honored to be selected by AACC to serve on this important board, which ensures that community colleges and TCUs have key roles in discussions on issues shaping our nation’s higher education policy,” Billy said. “I am fortunate to be working alongside such dedicated and knowledgeable staff and board members. It is a tremendous privilege to be able to represent TCUs and tribal communities across the country in this capacity.”
Under Billy’s leadership, AIHEC secured $50 million in additional operating support for TCUs and $300 million in mandatory funding for TCU institutional development. She established AIHEC AIMS, a comprehensive data collection system that ensures TCUs’ accountability to tribal communities and funders. Billy has also launched new initiatives to engage Native students in advocacy and leadership on key community-based and public policy issues.
The selection of Billy comes at a crucial time. “America’s community colleges represent the hope of brighter futures for millions of people today and are keeping the dream of postsecondary education affordable,” said Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, president of AACC. “Our new board members are joining us during a pivotal time, as community colleges (and TCUs) are being asked to double the number of students completing degrees and other postsecondary credentials and to train significantly more workers to meet the needs of employers throughout the nation.”