ACCS named two community college presidents

Jimmy Hodges to lead Calhoun while Olivier Charles will lead Bishop State

From left: Jimmy Hodges and Olivier Charles.

The Alabama Community College System named two community college presidents yesterday. Jimmy Hodges gets the official designation at Calhoun Community College while Olivier Charles becomes president at Bishop State Community College.

Hodges has been serving as interim president at Calhoun since June 2021. One of the largest of Alabama’s community colleges, Calhoun has a main campus in Decatur, the Alabama Center for the Arts campus in downtown Decatur and a Huntsville campus at Cummings Research Park.

“Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties are exploding in economic development, which means the residents and businesses there need to know now more than ever that a dynamic leader like Jimmy is at Calhoun Community College to ensure accessible, affordable and flexible education is right there to meet the needs of the community,” said Jimmy Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.

Hodges has 40 years of experience in higher education administration, manufacturing and drafting and design technology. He served in the manufacturing industry for 20 years before becoming a drafting instructor at Earnest Pruett Center of Technology. Later he was promoted to dean of applied technologies at Wallace State Community College. He has a bachelor’s in career and technical education and a bachelor’s in management of technology from Athens State University, and a master’s in educational leadership and a doctor of education in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

“For decades Calhoun Community College has been at the helm of workforce development in North Alabama, and I consider it a huge blessing to be able to lead such an excellent group of students, faculty and staff in continuing to enhance our current strategies and promote future growth,” said Hodges.

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At Bishop State, new president Charles is the former ACCS vice chancellor for student success. He will take the president’s job at Bishop State on August 1.

“This is my dream job and I intend to retire at Bishop State. Growing up in Mobile’s Campground neighborhood, Bishop State was always a physical reminder that opportunities were within my reach,” said Charles. “That community-focused role hasn’t changed, and as Mobile grows, Bishop State will be there to help our community share in its success. Mobile gave so much to me, so I see this opportunity to serve as my way of giving back.”

Bishop State is one of the system’s six historically black colleges and the city of Mobile’s only community college. It has four campuses in Mobile and Washington counties.

“Olivier’s background, skills and vision make him the clear choice for this role. He is an inspiring and energetic leader with a long-term vision for Bishop State,” said Jeb Shell, a member of the president’s search committee and a board member of ACCS.

Charles has served in higher education leadership for more than a decade, beginning as director of admissions and enrollment management at the University of West Alabama and as director of admissions and recruitment at Auburn University at Montgomery. Prior to being named vice chancellor for student success at ACCS, he served as dean of students at Enterprise State Community College.

Charles earned a bachelor’s in special education and a master’s in college student development from the University of West Alabama. He is a graduate of Murphy High School in Mobile. 

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