Researcher, author tapped as new Social Sciences & Professional Studies dean at GCC


Staff Report
Published: 9/15/2020 2:19:11 PM

GREENFIELD — There’s a new face in Greenfield Community College’s Social Sciences & Professional Studies Department, now that researcher and author Charles “Chet” Jordan has taken over as dean.

Invested in diversity, equity and improving the community college experience for all students, Jordan said in a GCC press release that he viewed the open position as an “opportunity of a lifetime.”

“The job spoke about creativity, innovative programs and energetic faculty,” he recalled. “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.”

“The college is thrilled to welcome Dr. Jordan to our community,” commented GCC President Yves Salomon-Fernández. “Chet is an innovative, bright and passionate scholar, teacher and leader. He is well-suited to lead us through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Prior to his arrival, Jordan lived and worked in New York City for eight years, serving as an assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies at Guttman Community College, according to the release. He was part of the founding faculty of the college in 2012, arriving on opening day and seeing the college through most of its first decade in operation.

Last year, Jordan published “Post-Recession Community College Reform: A Decade of Experimentation.” Co-authored with his former doctoral advisor Anthony Picciano, the book evaluates several community college reform programs that emerged after the 2008 Recession.

“It’s powerful to recognize that our landscape as a sector was re-imagined during a time when the economic fallout was so acute,” Jordan noted. “Colleges were working with next to nothing on austerity budgets and still, it didn’t stop the creativity from happening.”

Jordan’s new book, “Establishing An Experimental Community College in the United States: Challenges, Successes and Implications for Higher Education,” is expected to be published in 2021. According to the press release, the book — which focuses on Guttman Community College’s academic model — considers how assumptions around race and socioeconomic status have influenced curricular policy, and suggests ways the academic model should be revised to provide an equitable experience for all students.

Greenfield Recorder

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