Dr. L. Joy Gates Black retired as the fourth president of Delaware County Community College after serving for six years. In that time the College received national recognition as a Center of Excellence for Domestic Maritime Workforce Training and Education, established the Center for Equity and Social Justice, received millions in state and federal grants, and received capital funding to build a new campus focused on Community Success and Workforce Development. A well-respected higher education administrator with thirty years of experience at both community colleges and four-year institutions, Dr. Gates Black is keenly focused on: board development, presidential coaching, strategic planning, institutional effectiveness, and the fostering of a diverse and inclusive teaching, working, and learning environment.
In addition to serving as president, Dr. Gates Black served in a number of roles in higher education in MA, CA, and TX. These include service as Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Success, Campus President, Vice President of Student Success and Enrollment Management, Dean of Student Affairs, Dean of Equity and Diversity, Assistant Vice President of Administrative Services, Associate Dean of Admissions and Assistant Dean.
Dr. Gates Black has served on national, state, and regional boards including: the American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of Community College Trustees Advisory Committee of Presidents, the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation, the Pennsylvania American Council on Education Women’s Network, the Pennsylvania Military Academy Review Board, the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges Council of Presidents, and the Foundation for Delaware County. She also served as chair of the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, a non-profit organization consisting of five regional community colleges and Drexel University, which collectively provided customized education and training services to regional employers seeking a highly skilled workforce.
In 2017, Dr. Gates Black was one of two recipients of the Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award from the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation, an international, non-profit organization. In March 2018, Dr. Gates Black was one of three women to receive a “Woman of Achievement” award from the Delaware County Women’s Commission. The Philadelphia Business Journal featured Dr. Gates Black on its front page in August 2018 highlighting her as one of twelve “change agents” who set high standards and are not afraid to take bold action to help students achieve their educational goals in Greater Philadelphia. Dr. Gates Black also testified in August 2018 before the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee regarding the importance of workforce development training to meet the acute skilled labor needs of regional manufacturers. In 2020, Dr. Gates Black received the Athena Leadership Award from the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce as well as the Women in Leadership Award from the Main Line Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Gates Black established the Center for Equity & Social Justice at Delaware County Community College in July 2020 as a vehicle for engaging the broader community in conversations that foster greater education, awareness, and understanding to facilitate transformative change, equity, and social justice. In October 2021, Dr. Gates Black received the Pacesetter of the Year Award from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (District 1). In March 2022, Dr. Gates Black testified before the Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee to advocate on behalf of the state’s fifteen community colleges. Throughout her career, Dr. Gates Black served as a mentor to numerous community college leaders and has spoken at conferences on the topic of transformational leadership in higher education.
As a first-generation college student from a small town in Texas, Dr. Gates Black is proud that during her career she played a role in uplifting communities, increasing economic development, and helping others to achieve their dreams.
Dr. Gates Black holds an undergraduate studies certificate and a master’s degree in Education from Cambridge College, and a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. She also pursued doctoral studies in Human and Organizational Development from Fielding University, and she is a U.S. Air Force veteran.