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.
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
- Back2Basics Podcast: “Dr. Michael Baston – Take Charge of Your Tomorrow”
- Community College Daily, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education: “Steps Beyond Statements: Presidential Leadership in Building a Case for Inclusive Excellence”
- Council of Industry’s HV Mfg: “High Hopes Reimagining Hudson Valley’s Opportunity Ecosystem”
- National Center for Inquiry & Improvement: “Leadership for Equity in Community Colleges Panel Discussion”
- University Business: “Hard Realities, High Hopes: Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem”
Dr. Michael A. Baston’s has been featured in many published works including, but not limited to, the following:
- The Atlantic
- Black Enterprise Magazine
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
- Community College Daily – “Earning credit for non credit-courses”
- The Community College Times
- USA Today
For the latest in what’s happening at Rockland Community College, visit the RCC News & Events page.
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.