It is with great excitement that Greenfield Community College welcomes Charles (Chet) Jordan as the college’s new Dean of Social Sciences and Professional Studies. An esteemed researcher, author, and leader in the field of higher education, Chet officially joined GCC on July 6th, 2020.
Prior to his arrival, Chet lived and worked in New York City for eight years, serving as an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Guttman Community College, City University of New York (CUNY). Here, he had the distinct privilege of being a part of the founding faculty of the college, arriving on opening day and seeing the college through most of its first decade in operation. With a passion for higher education and a fierce commitment to serving diverse populations, Chet went on to receive his doctorate degree in Urban Education in 2018 from The Graduate Center at CUNY. Invested in diversity, equity, and improving the community college experience for all students, Chet viewed the open position at GCC as an “opportunity of a lifetime.”
“The job spoke about creativity, innovative programs, and energetic faculty,” he remarks. “I immediately saw that GCC is unique, has its own identity, has a deep history connected to Western Massachusetts, and has an incredible reputation of educating a diverse student body.”
Last year (2019) Chet published Post-Recession Community College Reform: A Decade of Experimentation. Co-authored with his former doctoral advisor Anthony Picciano, the book evaluates several pivotal community college reform programs that emerged after the Recession of 2008. Given the current state of the world and the growing climate of economic uncertainty, Chet’s arrival to the college couldn’t be more timely.
“In the middle of a crisis there has been enormous creativity and invention” he reminds us. “It’s powerful to recognize that our landscape as a sector was re-imagined during a time when the economic fallout was so acute. Colleges were working with next to nothing on austerity budgets and still, it didn’t stop the creativity from happening.”
Chet’s new book, Establishing An Experimental Community College in the United States: Challenges, Successes, and Implications for Higher Education, will be published in 2021. Here, he will focus on Guttman Community College’s academic model: the book will look at how assumptions around race and socioeconomic status have influenced curricular policy and suggest ways in which the academic model can be revised in order to provide a rigorous and equitable experience for all students.
Even before becoming dean it’s safe to say that GCC’s motto “You Belong Here” is a sentiment Chet has long stood behind.
“I’m honored to be the Dean of Social Sciences and Professional Studies at GCC,” says Chet, “and to be part of an institution that has a strong identity tied to social justice, community support, and educating from a creative and supportive position.”
Comments GCC’s president, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernández, “The College is thrilled to welcome Dr. Jordan to our community, Chet is an innovative, bright, and passionate scholar, teacher, and leader. He is well-suited to lead us through the challenges and opportunities ahead for our College and our sector.”
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