Dr. Debbie L. Sydow is president of Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, the state’s only public, residential two-year college. She is president emerita and distinguished professor of English at Onondaga Community College—one of the largest community colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Sydow has served as President of the New York Community College Association of Presidents, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Community College Development at Cornell University, and Chair of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness.
Strategic reinvestment and reinvention as a means of improving student learning outcomes has been the central focus of Sydow’s leadership, and her research. Her writing has been published in a wide range of publications, including the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and the American Council on Education Leadership Briefs, and her recent book is entitled Revisioning Community Colleges.
Sydow’s discipline is English literature, rhetoric and linguistics. She earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, an M.A. from Marquette University, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary Ph.D. from Keuka College, the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) CEO of the Year Award for the Northeast Region, and the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction.