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Collin College President Named CEO of the Year

Dr. Cary Israel, president of Collin College, was recognized with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Award for the Western Region by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

August 2, 2007 -- Collin College President Cary Israel's vision and leadership have catapulted Collin College to national recognition. Dr. Israel was recognized with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Award for the Western Region by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT).

Dr. Israel was one of five regional winners for ACCT, a national organization of the governing boards of community colleges. From among the regional winners, a national CEO Award winner will be selected and announced at the Community College Leadership Congress in San Diego on Sept. 28.

"I am extremely honored and deeply appreciative to be chosen as a representative for such a meaningful award, and I'm proud of the great strides this college has made," said Dr. Israel. "The success of this institution has occurred because of the vision of the trustees, the hard work of the faculty and staff, and, most importantly, because of the successes of our students. Thanks to strong support from local legislators and from donors, the college can continue its mission of providing quality higher education to our community and making a lasting impact."

Dr. Israel was nominated for the honor by the Collin College Board of Trustees. In the nomination, the Trustees cited his creativity, vision and planning.

"Dr. Israel is a true asset to the college because he is an astute CEO who is passionate about higher education as well as the community," said Dr. J. Robert Collins, chairman and founding board member of the Collin College Board of Trustees. "Under his leadership, the college has established award-winning initiatives as well as unique programs to serve the changing student population. We are thankful for his service and look forward to continued success under his leadership."

Dr. Israel joined Collin College in 1999. Under his management, the college has been recognized nationally for excellence by Phi Theta Kappa, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Carnegie Foundation and the League for Innovation in the Community College, among others. The college has seen tremendous growth in the past eight years and is expected to lead all Texas colleges and universities in growth through 2015.

Dr. Israel has spearheaded innovative programs that have propelled Collin College to the forefront of education. He signed Texas' first concurrent admissions agreement between a community college and a university, making it easier for Collin College students to transfer and continue their education. He created Collin College's first Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement, which administers the college's award-winning service-learning and learning communities programs. In addition, he started the first post-baccalaureate teacher certification program at a community college in Texas. One of the college's most recent accomplishments was the development of Destination College, a program that prepares high school students and their parents financially, academically and mentally for higher education.

Former student Adele Bailey, who was selected as a member of the prestigious 2005 Phi Theta Kappa All-USA Academic Team, was mentored by Dr. Israel. "Dr. Israel exemplifies fortitude of leadership through his fervor for higher education and dedication to students. He knows us by name, he converses with interest and he labors selflessly to advance us through the vigor of his expertise," said Bailey.

Dr. Israel currently serves on the executive and legislative committees of the Texas Association of Community Colleges. He helped lead the movement to bring Campus Compact to Texas and is a past chair and charter member of that organization. Nationally, Dr. Israel has served on the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, is a member of ACCT, and is a past member of the Phi Theta Kappa Presidents Society.

"Dr. Israel is committed to making college affordable and accessible to all students. During his tenure at Collin College, he worked with the Trustees to secure two $1 million donations and helped raised more than $180,000 annually during fundraising events. Prior to his leadership, the largest fundraising event at the college raised $19,000," said Dr. Collins.

The ACCT recognition is an esteemed addition to Dr. Israel's impressive list of accolades. This is his second recognition by that organization. He received the CEO Award for the Northeast Region in 1996. His other honors include the Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, Keeping America Working Award, the Plano Community Forum Award, Collin County League of United Latin American Citizen's Service Award and the Inside Collin County Business 21 Leaders of the 21st Century, to name a few.

Prior to his position at Collin College, Dr. Israel served as president of Raritan Valley Community College, president of the Illinois Community College System and president of Front Range Community College.

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges in the United States. These community professionals, business officials, public policy leaders and leading citizens offer their time and talent to serve on the governing boards of this century's most innovative higher education institutions and make decisions that affect more than 1,200 colleges and more than 11 million students annually.

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.