Kenya Ayers-Palmore’s statement to The Collegian

For “The Collegian” by Kenya Ayers-Palmore

I am grateful to “The Collegian” for inviting me to share why I am no longer serving as President of the TCC Northeast campus community that I love dearly.

To the many of you who contacted me, texted or emailed me over the past weeks to check on me, thank you so much. It should be clear to all who saw the public posting for my position, and the statement released on Monday, October 30, 2023 by the Chancellor’s office, that I did not abruptly resign my position. I am in the process of addressing the actions taken to remove me from leadership and cannot say more at this time. My goal with this message is to let you know how very honored I am to have served as the most recent President of TCC Northeast, and how proud I am of the great work we accomplished together over the past four and half years.

Certainly, the path of leadership is fraught with challenges. Executive level leaders expect that to be the case when the work is so impactful and the goals so ambitious. As Northeast campus president, I have devoted myself to advancing educational excellence, authentic belonging and equitable treatment of all within the College. My aim in leading with grit, grace and empathy was to facilitate the success of our faculty, the inclusion of our staff, and above all, the intellectual, social, and professional development of our incredible students. I looked forward to doing much more to grow our beloved Northeast campus in alignment with the greater college goals. Unfortunately, that work has now been cut short.

Please know that I wish the very talented and student-centered, Interim President, Dr. Jan Clayton all the best as she leads the campus. I want to state publicly how proud I am of the Northeast campus Executive Team: Dr. Terri Ford, Assistant to the President, Dr. Vicki Ansorge, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Terese Craig, Vice President for Student Affairs, who served alongside me, faithfully and well. My thanks extends to my peers on the Chancellor’s Cabinet, to members of our Northeast campus Administrative Team, President’s Cabinet, President Council, Faculty Association, Faculty Senate and NEPSA who lead in excellence from their respective roles. Northeast faculty, staff and students, I am forever better as a leader because of our time together.

We live in challenging times globally and here at home. Our collective opportunity will be to engage in courageous conversations about the issues that divide us, and more importantly, those that unite us. I have learned a great deal from my time with TCC, most especially from leading the campus through a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic, building ecosystems for student success and executing key initiatives at scale. I trust that my legacy with TCC will rest upon leadership of teams that created the Fort Worth Film Collaborative and TCC’s enhanced Career Advising Philosophy and more so from the many unseen acts of service for individual students and those who teach and support them.

I am most proud of the Student Ready Culture Institute (SCRI) designed to create a consistent 5 star experience throughout TCC. Thank you to the OED for leading this work forward. SCRI has been memorialized in “Becoming a Student-Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success,” written by Tia Brown-McNair, et al. This model will enable colleges and universities nationwide to replicate TCC’s success.

Lastly, I will learn and grow from this experience. My mission as an educator is to build the next generation of leaders who lead authentically and guide our organization to greater peace, wisdom, and justice. I trust that you will pick up the mantle from here.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. AP