Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Officially Launches, Announces Faculty-In-Residence

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) announces the official launch of the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership. This program focuses on empowering equity-minded and entrepreneurial leaders and is the only in-person, practitioner-focused, Ed.D. program of higher education leadership at any institution in Texas. This is also one of only two Executive Ed.D. programs of higher education leadership offered by any top 5 nationally ranked public colleges of education.

The program welcomes an inaugural cohort of 18 doctoral students who will begin their studies this summer. These individuals reflect a high level of professional experience in diverse professions across Texas. The entering students have an average of 19 years of professional working experience in areas such as student success, enrollment management, academic affairs, development, health care, diversity and inclusion, civil rights law, criminal justice, and employment and career counseling.  These students currently serve in leadership roles as vice presidents, directors, and a variety of academic and faculty positions.

In preparation for the launch of this program, program leaders sought out the guidance and support of a distinguished steering committee of higher education leaders, presidents, educators, and visionaries across Texas and beyond. Several of these distinguished committee members will join the Executive Ed.D. program as our faculty-in-residence.  The program welcomes six new faculty colleagues:

Martha Ellis, is the director of higher education strategy, policy, and services for the UT Austin Dana Center. She is a former community college president, associate vice chancellor at UT System, and faculty member at multiple institutions in Texas.

Molly Beth Malcolm is the executive vice president of campus operations and public affairs at Austin Community College District. She is a former community college trustee, an advocate for community colleges at the state and national levels, and a proud alumna of ELP’s Community College Leadership Program.

Mark Milliron is the co-founder and chief learning officer of Civitas Learning. He is also the founding chancellor of Western Governor’s University-Texas, and he is a former executive of numerous educational associations and institutions in the U.S. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of ELP’s Community College Leadership Program.

Collette Pierce Burnette is the current president and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s only historically black college and university. She is a former interim president, VP and CFO at multiple institutions across the country, and she is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Ed.D. in higher education administration.

Richard Rhodes is the current president and CEO of the Austin Community College District. He is also the former president of El Paso Community College, where he also held several administrative roles. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of ELP’s Community College Leadership Program. 

Laura Struve is an assistant director of graduate student development in the UT Faculty Innovation Center. She is also a recent alumna of ELP’s Program in Higher Education Leadership.

Our faculty-in-residence for the program will teach alongside several of our nationally renowned College of Education faculty including Beth Bukoski, Richard Reddick, Pedro Reyes, Victor Saenz, Patricia Somers, and Luis Urrieta, among others. Together, our instructors represent a highly experienced and knowledgeable aggregation of outstanding researchers and educators.

The Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Program is jointly directed by Juan Gonzáles (Faculty Coordinator) and Joe Wilcox (Program Coordinator), both of whom have extensive experience serving in higher education.

Most recently Gonzáles served as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UC San Diego after having served with distinction for more than 30 years as vice president for student affairs at numerous prestigious institutions, including The University of Texas at Austin. He has achieved notable success at improving the student experience for students at institutions across the country.

Wilcox, an alumnus of the Program in Higher Education Leadership at UT Austin, served for more than 30 years at the university primarily in the areas of student success, financial services, and development, where he focused on college affordability, donor relations, and recruiting underrepresented students. 

Gonzáles and Wilcox provide an unparalleled level of leadership and experience for the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership.

With a keen focus on empowering equity-minded and entrepreneurial higher education leaders, the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership is poised to embody the core purpose of the University of Texas: to transform lives for the benefit of society.