WRIGHT LASSITER, JR.
Chancellor Emeritus, Dallas County Community
When Wright Lassiter, Jr., was appointed chancellor of the Dallas County Community College
District (DCCCD) in 2006, he told trustees, “I will live up to your confidence in me.”
He did. Lassiter led the seven-college district to prominence at the state and national level.
He oversaw the completion of a $450-million bond program passed by voters. It resulted in
the construction of 29 buildings throughout the district, including five community campuses
in areas of Dallas County that were considered fast-growing or underserved. This work helped
to accommodate the unprecedented enrollment growth, which reached 80,000 credit and
25,000 non-credit students.
During Lassiter’s tenure, the district also gained prominence in the business community. Grants
from the Texas Workforce Commission allowed DCCCD to work more closely with companies
and to prepare more workers in the county for high-demand positions.
Lassiter also had the distinction of being the first black chancellor of the district.
Before becoming chancellor, Lassiter served as president of El Centro College—part of DCCCD—
for 20 years. He played an instrumental role in founding Middle College High School (MCHS) in
1988. MCHS puts high school students on the path to earning an associate degree, and, gives
them an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree. A majority of the school’s graduates are the
first in their families to complete college. Because of his work championing MCHS, the school
was renamed Dr. Wright L. Lassiter Jr. Early College High School at El Centro College.
Lassiter retired from DCCCD in 2013, but continues to serve as a graduate school faculty
member at Dallas Baptist University. He has written 13 books.
Earlier in his career, Lassiter served as president of Bishop College in Dallas. In 1979, he became
the first black college president in the State University of New York System when he led
Schenectady County Community College.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alcorn State University in
Mississippi, a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University, and his
doctorate in education from Auburn University in Alabama.