‘You are the core,’ MCC’s interim chief academic officer tells faculty

Dr. Sharon Blackman retired Nov. 30 from the Dallas County Community College District in Texas. The following Monday, Dec. 3, she reported to her new assignment at Metropolitan Community College.

So, she told MCC faculty, she has already failed at retirement.

Dr. Sharon Blackman addresses MCC instructors at Faculty Professional Development Day Jan. 10.

But her job in Kansas City is temporary. She’s serving as chief academic officer on an interim basis, until June 30. A permanent CAO is expected to start July 1.

At MCC’s Faculty Professional Development Day, Jan. 10 at MCC-Business & Technology, Blackman assured faculty that instruction is her main priority. “I’m here to work with you so we can continue to make progress,” she said. “There’s a lot of work to do.”

She added: “Our business is about students and the student experience in the classroom. You are the core.”

Blackman has worked in higher education more than 40 years, most of that at community colleges. She brings to MCC experience in higher education administration, program development, counseling and teaching.

Blackman, whose hometown is Nashville, has served as president of Dallas County Community College District’s Brookhaven College and Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills campus (in Michigan).  She most recently served as strategic learning consultant in the Talent Central Division for Dallas County Community College. That role included the talent development of faculty. She had a long history with the community college district, serving in many administrative capacities including provost of the Educational Affairs Division.

Blackman has also held positions at Richland College in Dallas, Youngstown State University in Ohio, Earlham College in Indiana, and Tennessee State University.

She holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Baylor University and earned both a master’s degree in education/guidance and counseling and a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is a certified specialist in developmental education and has participated in the Kellogg Institute for Developmental Educators.

Blackman has been a presenter at state and national conferences, and she has been involved in a number of professional and community organizations. She has received numerous awards and has been recognized for her commitment to higher education. Most recently, she was the recipient of the 2016 Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award sponsored by the Chair Academy for Leadership Development.

In her spare time she enjoys jazz, dancing, cooking and reading.

“I fully believe in the work we do at community colleges,” she told MCC faculty. “We make a difference. We change lives.”