Dr. Michael A. Baston, President

Dr. Michael A. Baston is a national thought leader amplifying the role community colleges play in redefining educational success, leading diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide reform efforts, and developing executive leadership teams. Dr. Baston has led Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, as its president since 2017. Under Dr. Baston’s leadership, he helped RCC launch a Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, a new guided pathway influenced academic school model, Career and English Skills Academies to address middle-skills workforce needs, and secured $30 million in grant, capital, and other fundraising efforts, including back-to-back Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution awards, the largest grants in RCC history. Dr. Baston’s Steps Beyond Statements Initiative has helped to signal specific steps that educational institutions can take to foster inclusive excellence. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. Dr. Baston is also a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens, and the Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.

To learn more about Dr. Baston’s activities, community involvements, leadership roles, and accomplishments, download his full bio. (Download a jpeg image of Dr. Baston).

Dr. Michael Baston, President, Rockland Community College

Publications, Presentations and Appearances

Dr. Baston is a highly respected member of the higher education community. He is often asked to write articles, speak on panels and give presentations on various industry topics. Here are links to some of his recent work. Click on the publication/organizational logos to access Dr. Baston’s work.

Dr. Baston’s Additional Work and “In the News” Features

RCC Initiatives

Steps Beyond Statements

The current global call for racial equity and justice highlights the importance and urgency of our commitment to Inclusive Excellence at RCC. As part of that commitment, Dr. Baston formed the Steps Beyond Statements Working Group and charged them with conducting the Guided Pathways Institutional Self-Assessment for Equity in order to provide recommendations for implementation building upon our institutional strengths and addressing identified challenges. Read more about the Steps Beyond Statements work.

Title V Grants

RCC has been awarded two Title V grants since 2019, totalling nearly $6 million, through the Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions program. These grants assist Hispanic Serving Institutions to enhance their program offerings and quality, strengthen their institutional stability, expand educational opportunities, and support the College’s commitment to strengthen career pathways to empower workforce ready students. Read more about the Title V grants.

Academy for Academic and Professional Development

The Academy for Academic and Professional Development is a pioneering initiative for Adjunct Faculty, spearheaded by Dr. Baston. The Academy is designed to encourage Adjuncts to explore potential full-time employment opportunities at the College in both teaching and administration through a rotation program of hands-on and mentored professional development.

Contact Information

Brucker Hall, Room 6205
845-574-4214

Dr. Michael Baston
[email protected] 

Eileen Hughes
Office Manager
[email protected]

Ben Naylor
Chief of Staff
[email protected]

Jason Tomlinson
Confidential Assistant & Community and External Affairs Liaison
[email protected]