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David Harrison became the fifth president of Columbus State Community College in July 2010. With more than 25,000 students, Columbus State is one of the largest and most comprehensive colleges in Ohio. Through its campuses in Columbus and Delaware County and its nine regional learning centers, the college serves students from all 88 counties in Ohio, provides more online learning opportunities than any college in the state, and contributes nearly a billion dollars in regional economic impact.

Speaker Bio

During Dr. Harrison's tenure at Columbus State, he has focused the college on the goals of student success and attainment, workforce innovation, and civic engagement. In 2012 Columbus State was named an Achieving the Dream college, a national initiative to help more students earn college credentials with an emphasis on first generation students, students of color, and low-income students; and in 2015 the college received Achieving the Dream's esteemed designation as a Leader College. In addition, Columbus State was one of only 30 colleges nationwide selected to participate in the Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to design and implement guided academic and career pathways for all students.

Under Dr. Harrison's leadership, Columbus State initiated the Preferred Pathway® program, which guarantees admission to Ohio State for Columbus State graduates, and expanded the program to include Capital, CCAD, Franklin, Miami, Ohio University, Ohio Dominican, Ohio Wesleyan, and Otterbein. He led the formation of The Central Ohio Compact, a regional strategy among K-12 and higher education leaders to help more students succeed in college and in the workplace. He has facilitated important partnerships with local school districts, colleges and universities, and employers throughout central Ohio. These partnerships provide Columbus State students the opportunity to achieve their higher education goals while providing solutions for families by reducing financial barriers to degree attainment.

Dr. Harrison came to Columbus State with extensive experience building successful community partnerships. As Vice Provost for Regional Campuses at the University of Central Florida, he worked with community colleges to create the Central Florida Higher Education Consortium and the nationally-recognized DirectConnect to UCF program, which guarantees the opportunity for a bachelor's degree for graduates of partner community colleges. Under his leadership, the program significantly increased the number of transfer students earning bachelor's degrees from UCF. He also developed partnerships with employers and community leaders to address workforce needs in information technology, architecture, healthcare, and other fields.

Prior to joining UCF, Dr. Harrison served in leadership roles at Seminole State College in Florida and at Sinclair Community College in Ohio, and was a consulting manager with Accenture in Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton.