Walter G. Bumphus, Ph.D.
American Association of Community Colleges
Walter Bumphus currently serves as President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Washington, D.C. From 2007 to 2011, before assuming the presidency of AACC, Dr. Bumphus served as a professor in the Community College Leadership Program and as chair of the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin.
Prior to joining The University of Texas, Dr. Bumphus served as president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System from 2001 to 2007, and as chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC) from 2000 to 2001.
Dr. Bumphus also worked in the corporate sector, serving as president of the Higher Education Division of Voyager Expanded Learning. For six years before that, he served as president of Brookhaven College in the Dallas County Community College District.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Murray State University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin.
Q&A with Walter Bumphus
How do we make this work different from other foundations and organizations?
I have worked very closely with many foundations and other organizations that are focused on student success and have big goals to provide a more educated workforce by increasing the number of individuals with certificates and degrees. The ACT Foundation’s work is unique because we bring a focus to helping low-income and disadvantaged populations understand the value of learning and the economic power in completing a learning pathway.
Why is it important to include a focus on low-income populations?
If we are going to have the kind of qualified workforce we need, we have to focus on everyone. Those students who are going to Ivy League schools or Tier 1 Research Universities are probably going to do well. It’s the other part of our community we need to include: other learners who need a market-based credential, certificate, or degree that lends itself to the world of work and making a livable wage for a family.
Why were you eager to join the ACT Foundation Board?
I was very impressed by the leadership and vision for the Foundation and the opportunity to contribute to work that will be a game-changer in the lives of working learners.
What is one question you hope we can answer through our research and programs?
I think it is essential that we discover the true indicators of learning and career readiness, and define the kinds of support systems working learners need to succeed.