A leader, a scholar and an activist, Dr. Rosemary Gillett-Karam is a true renaissance woman. She has a passion for the
community college mission and has worked to develop leaders to carry out that mission.
Gillett-Karam is a tenured associate professor of higher education and director of the Community College Leadership
Doctoral Program (CCLDP) at Morgan State University, an historically black institution in Maryland. It’s a program she
helped develop when she was recruited. It’s now a fully online three-year doctoral program that serves students from
the U.S. and foreign countries. CCLDP currently boasts an enrollment of more than 200 students, and many graduates
are serving as community college leaders. Nearly all new graduates are African American.
Prior to that, Gillett-Karam was, for five years, president of Louisburg College in North Carolina. While there, she
introduced the nationally acclaimed Learning Partners Program, focusing on students with learning disabilities. Previ-
ously, she served as an associate professor at North Carolina State University in the Higher Education and Community
College Program. At the same time, she was co-editor of the juried Community College Review. She also guided the
Fellows Program, part of a $13 million Kellogg award to develop new and ethnically diverse leaders for American
community colleges. Several of these fellows are now community college presidents.
She’s spent time as a dean and department chair at Austin Community College in Texas, and was a scholar in residence
at Hagerstown Community College in Maryland.
Gillett-Karam has long supported diversity in education. She wrote the first text on women and minorities in the com-
munity college. Some of her more well-known books include Shared Vision; Diversity and Underrepresentation; Teach-
ing as Leading; Women in the Community College; and Ethics in the Academy. She has written numerous chapters in
books and many journal articles. She’s served on various national boards for community colleges, including on the
editorial board of the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. She’s currently on the Baltimore City
Community College Board of Trustees.
Her promise as a leader was evident early on. After completing her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin,
Gillett-Karam was named Emerging Scholar of the Year by the American Association of Community Colleges. She also
served as a Kellogg Postdoctoral Fellow for the university’s Community College Leadership Program from 1988 to
1991. She was named a Distinguished Graduate by UT–Austin.
Dr. Judith S. Eaton has served as president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) since 1997, but
she’s been advocating for quality education for most of her career.
Under her leadership, CHEA has emerged as a major voice in discussions of higher education and accreditation. As the
only organization focused solely on accreditation, CHEA serves as a comprehensive source of information on accreditation and as an effective representative of member institutions. Now in its 20th year, CHEA has established itself as a
useful and valued advocate for accreditation, an organization on which people can rely and trust, both nationally and
And CHEA’s future looks bright. Eaton hopes the organization can provide strong leadership for change and innovation
in accreditation—open to new, creative and dynamic approaches, yet dedicated to preserving accreditation’s core
strengths: peer review and the centrality of academics judging quality.
“We are focused on the future of accreditation and this will require a willingness to take risks, to experiment and to be
flexible—all in service to students and society,” Eaton says.
Prior to her work at CHEA, Eaton served as the first permanent chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, where she was responsible for leadership and coordination of 32 institutions serving more than 162,000 students
statewide. At the time, MnSCU was a newly merged system of higher education. Eaton took the lead on creating a
strategic vision for the system and consolidating community and technical colleges. She empowered presidents by
shifting significant authority to the colleges and universities, and she conceptualized the MnSCU Electronic Academy,
which advanced the use of technology in learning.
Previously, Eaton served as president of the Council for Aid to Education. In the 1980s, she was president of the
Community College of Philadelphia. There she fostered a climate of growth and cooperation. She worked to improve
the state funding structure and establish the college’s foundation.
Eaton also has been president of Community College of Southern Nevada, and served as vice president of the American Council on Education. She’s held full- and part-time teaching positions at Columbia University, the University of
Michigan and Wayne State University.