Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Named Distinguished State Director

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Jackson, MS – Dr. Joe May, immediate past president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS), will be presented with the Distinguished Community College State Director Award during Phi Theta Kappa's NerdNation 2014 in Orlando April 24-26.

Dr. Joe May

The Distinguished Community College State Director Award recognizes the contributions of heads of state community college systems. Recipients demonstrate the state community college director's support of Phi Theta Kappa chapters, advisors and regional organizations. Dr. May was nominated by the Omega Nu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

Following his nomination for this award, Dr. May accepted the position of Chancellor for the Dallas County Community College District.

Selected as the President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System in January 2007, Dr. May provided leadership to 13 colleges that enroll 116,000 students throughout the state. Prior to that role, he served as the President of Pueblo Community College. 

As the first in his family to attend college, Dr. May realized the profound impact that higher education had not only on his life, but on all of society. He is the founding president of Rebuilding America’s Middle Class (RAMC), a national consortium of community colleges that is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. In 2012, in his role as the president of RAMC, he testified before Congress to share his views on improving operational efficiency while controlling the cost of attending college.

Dr. May championed the effort to reprioritize community and technical college offerings that has resulted in Louisiana’s two-year college graduates out-earning the graduates of universities by 8.6 percent. During his tenure enrollment increased from 71,000 to more than 160,000 students. With the launch of Work Ready U, he was able to increase by over 49,000 the number of adults receiving the basic literacy education and workforce skills necessary for them to succeed in today’s economy.

To meet the demands of job growth and changing workforce needs, Dr. May led the effort to secure $600 million in funding for over 50 advanced technology centers throughout Louisiana. He has been responsible for crafting and passing over 35 separate pieces of legislation to enhance post-secondary education and workforce training for Louisiana’s citizens.

A former recipient of the Shirley B. Gordon Award, Dr. May was a strong supporter of the All-Louisiana Community College Academic Team. He also helped establish the All-Colorado team while serving as Director of the Colorado Community College System.

A native of East Texas, Dr. May earned his doctorate in education from Texas A&M-Commerce and Master of Education and Bachelor of Science degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. Nearly 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 131,000 students inducted annually.