She joins 5 percent of Women of Color at the helm of higher education institutions in the US
This week, VEST Member Dr. Mautra Jones was named President of Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC), a top-five higher education institution for student enrollment in Oklahoma.
Dr. Jones was unanimously selected by the OCCC Board of Regents on Monday, making her the first African American female to lead a top higher education institution in Oklahoma that is not a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Dr. Jones will assume the President role March 1, 2022. She is currently serving as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at Langston University, Oklahoma’s only HBCU. She is also the site administrator for the University’s Oklahoma City campus, as well as the Executive Director of the Langston University Foundation. Dr. Jones is also a member of the Board of Directors for BancFirst.
Jones' appointment is historic because Black and African American employees comprise less than 10 percent of higher education professionals nationwide, according to the latest data from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Additionally, a recent ACE College President Study (ACPS) reports that approximately one-third of college and university presidents are women, and only 5 percent are women of color.
"I recognize the tremendous responsibility that comes with this appointment to ensure the success of Oklahoma City Community College students, faculty and staff," said Jones, a VEST member and early adopter. "I am grateful to be supported by a strong network of influential women working together to build more equitable workplaces."
VEST launched in 2020 to connect women in a remote and flexible environment and counter the disproportionate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. According to the Center for American Progress, women have lost a net of 5.4 million jobs, and the unemployment rate of Black women and Latinas has doubled. Additionally, one-in-three Women of Color report plans to leave their current jobs, primarily due to burnout.
“Women remain grossly underrepresented where decisions are being made, including higher education institutions responsible for helping students find success in the labor market. Dr. Jones has spent her entire career creating partnerships and opportunities to unlock the unrealized potential of underserved students. Her presidency is not just a win for OCCC and women, it’s a win for employers everywhere.” said Erika Lucas, Founder of VEST.
More information about the OCCC announcement is available here.
VEST is a community of women building power collectively and working together to expedite the pipeline of more women in positions of power and influence. VEST provides a safe environment for women to connect, collaborate and network. VEST members and its extended network of thought leaders contribute to the VEST Her podcast and a newsletter reaching more than 10,000 subscribers to address issues facing women. For more information visit www.VESTHer.co