The Houston Community College board of trustees has voted to name Margaret Ford Fisher the institution's new chancellor, according to a news release Jan. 24. Ford Fisher had served as HCC's interim chancellor since Sept. 1.

“Dr. Ford Fisher is a driven and passionate educator with deep institutional knowledge of HCC," board Chair Cynthia Lenton-Gary said in the release. "She is forward-looking and a nationally recognized leader who is ideal to move HCC forward in providing educational excellence and innovation.”

Diving in deeper

Under Ford Fisher's leadership, the HCC Online College launched more than 60 fully online degree programs and 70 hybrid courses, enhancing educational accessibility and helping the system reach an enrollment of over 62,000 students.

As part of that development in new degrees and courses, programs including science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM; energy; biotechnology; robotics; and artificial intelligence were added, as previously reported.

This was achieved in part by securing federal and state grants as well as philanthropic support, in addition to industry relationships that led to stackable-certificate programs and 14,000 enrolled students.

Ford Fisher was also the founding president of HCC Online College in February 2018.

Career history

During her decades of service, HCC has seen much growth and modernization, resulting in the system being named by Newsweek as “One of America’s Best Online Colleges" for 2022 and 2023, according to the release.

She served 20 years as HCC Northeast College president where she led two successful capital campaigns and garnered community support for an HCC annexation initiative resulting in more educational services and programs, according to the release.

According to her biography page, since joining HCC in 1985, Ford Fisher has served in leadership roles, including the following:
  • Interim vice chancellor of instruction
  • Associate vice chancellor of academics
  • Dean of instruction
  • Division chair of arts and humanities
  • English department chair and professor
Prior to HCC, she taught at the following institutions:
  • Texas Southern University
  • The University of Houston
  • Wichita State University
Her education includes the following:
  • Bachelor's degree in English and master’s degree in the teaching of English from Wichita State University
  • Ph.D. in education curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.
What else?

Ford Fisher has authored more than 50 publications and four books, including the first book on high school dual credit titled “High School Students Earning College Credit: Guide to Creating Dual Credit Programs” published in 1996, according to the HCC website.

In their own words

“I am deeply honored by the board's confidence in me and for this extraordinary opportunity to lead HCC," Ford Fisher said in the release. "We enjoy a wonderful faculty and committed staff who deeply care about each student they encounter. Together, we are providing real-world education to allow students to succeed in life, their work and in their communities."