PURPOSE: To enhance college effectiveness and performance through organizational, academic and student system improvements. Leslie has successfully implemented cohesive, operational and strategic systems improvements by developing creative and accountable organizational cultures, by engaging all stakeholders and emphasizing leadership development for all members of the organization, especially the board of trustees, resulting in dramatic, nationally recognized performance outcomes at each institution he has led.
Navy veteran and Chancellor Emeritus of The Alamo Colleges District, retired October 1, 2018, concluding a 42-year career as a senior executive in community college systems. As Chancellor of the Alamo Colleges District, he led five individually accredited colleges of various sizes, 5 regional centers, a $1 billion budget, 6,000 employees, and a student enrollment of over 65,000 (credit) and another 25,000 (continuing education, distance learning and workforce students) each semester. As a result of his leadership, the Alamo Colleges District received numerous state and national awards; most noteworthy, the 2018 National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award for Performance Excellence–the only community college system to ever receive this Presidential level award. Concurrently, The Aspen Institute named Alamo Colleges-Palo Alto College among the top ten community colleges in the nation and NICHE recognized Alamo Colleges-Northwest Vista College as best in Texas, 6th in the nation. The District also received several Texas Star Awards, a record-four National Bellwether Awards, and several sustainability, state, national operational, and fiscal performance awards, including four Texas Awards for Performance Excellence and recognition as a National Achieving the Dream Leader College.
Dr. Leslie has served community colleges of all sizes becoming President of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY in 1984. In 1996, he became Chancellor of the Connecticut Community-Technical College System, leading twelve individually accredited colleges, and then Chancellor of Houston Community College System, leading six colleges (the sixth established during his administration) and passing the first General Obligation bond in the District’s history.
Leslie earned his Bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio, Master’s degree from Sam Houston State University in Texas, and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Leslie, his wife Cheryl, and their three children each attended community colleges.
Leslie has been active in each community, serving on the Boards for the area chambers of commerce, manufacturing associations, youth and adult leadership programs, United Way, Salvation Army, bioscience and entrepreneurship organizations, and various jobs councils. His international experience is extensive. Most recently, Leslie collaborated with the Mayor of San Antonio and County Judge to establish SAWorks, to increase skills talent in Central Texas. Leslie served on the national board of the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Talent Development as Treasurer, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning as treasurer, and as past president of RC-2020, an international organization of urban community college CEO’s.
Dr. Leslie’s many recognitions include the inaugural FranklinCovey “Trim Tab” Leadership Award; the National Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award; Association of Community College Trustees Eastern Region and Western Region Chief Executive Awards and Charles Kennedy Equity Award; the San Antonio Business Journal C-Suite Award; the Phi Theta Kappa Leadership Award; the AARP Pinnacle Award for Service to Hurricane Katrina Evacuees; the Houston Hispanic Forum Leadership Award; the African Americans in Higher Education in Connecticut Association President’s Award; and the Diversity Leadership Award from the Syracuse Center for the Healing of Racism. Leslie was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin in 1990.
Leslie’s skills include board development and board/CEO relations, partnership development, workshop facilitation and employment, the Malcolm Baldrige Quality program, FranklinCovey resources, strategic planning, 4DX, employee leadership development, collective bargaining, and international development.
Leslie and his wife, Cheryl, are the parents of three children and eight grandchildren and both are actively engaged in community service.