Ask Everette Freeman why he’s moving from Georgia to Colorado and a Chamber of Commerce commercial breaks out.
“It’s got Peyton Manning and the Rocky Mountains!” said Freeman, who was announced Wednesday as the new president of the Community College of Denver.
The Broncos and fresh air aside, Freeman went on to say that the area is even up there on the higher education scale, giving an example of the recent visit of Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, who in September chose to announce a $475.5 million federal grant program at Front Range Community College in Westminster.
“Denver is one of the cities that everyone recognizes as an emerging trendsetter in terms of educational reform, with a magnificent higher education system,” he said.
Freeman is currently the president of Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. At CCD, he will replace Cliff Richardson, who has served as CCD’s interim president since 2011. Richardson plans to retire after Freeman takes over.
“Mr. Richardson’s experience with the Colorado Community College System and its colleges made him uniquely qualified to lead CCD during this transition,” said Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System. “Mr. Richardson’s commitment to CCD was evidenced by the fact that he postponed his retirement until we found the right candidate to assume the role of CCD president; I am deeply appreciative of his commitment to CCD.”
Freeman, who will begin at CCD on Nov. 1, said he was aware of the challenges that the state faces regarding higher education. national studies have shown that Colorado may be one of the first states in the United States to completely run out of state funding for its colleges and universities.
“I know there’s never enough funding for higher education, but Colorado has incredibly wise and thoughtful leadership, even under tight budgets,” he said. “And the community colleges, whether it’s thinking about how to contribute to the growing workforce needs, or increasing access to four-year institutions, have been very creative.
“There’s a great team that’s working creatively with the city and businesses and other institutions–I want to help keep that momentum going.”