The Presidents’ Round Table Announces 2017 Cohort Fellows for Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership

Narren J. Brown, PhD, Associate Vice President of Research and Institutional Effectiveness at South Central College (SCC), was named one of 14 fellows with the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership (Lakin Institute). The Presidents’ Round Table (PRT), a national association dedicated to supporting African-American leaders and students in community colleges, presents the Lakin Institute annually.

At SCC, Dr. Brown’s focus in on leading the institution’s Strategic Enrollment Planning and Achieving the Dream efforts while providing data for rapid insights and decision-making support.

Prior to this position he served as the Associate Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Grinnell College. He has more than a decade of experience in the field of education, including teaching, policy analysis, institutional research and assessment. Throughout his career, Dr. Brown has been at the forefront of promoting intervention design and effectiveness, systems integration, learning outcomes measurement and program development. Dr. Brown recently served as a corresponding editor of a New Directions for Institutional Research volume and lead author for a chapter focused on measuring intervention effectiveness and policy development. Dr. Brown currently serves on the Commission for Leadership and Professional Development with the American Association of Community Colleges, is a recipient of the Iowa Governor’s Seal of Approval for his work along with others in developing Coding Camps for Social Good and is a former Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium Board of Directors member and chair.  Dr. Brown holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Luther College and a Masters in Political Science and PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University.

"The 2017 Lakin cohort is an outstanding group of leaders who will deeply benefit from this experience,” said Dr. Kirk A. Nooks, Dean of the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership. “With the complex leadership challenges we are experiencing now, and in the future, this group will be able to demonstrate that community colleges are in good hands. The American Council on Education 2017 American College President Study indicates that African-American leaders account for about eight percent of the college presidency. Based on a historical rate of change, racial parity within the college presidency will occur in 2050. This Institute will endeavor to accelerate this timeframe."

Hosted October 15-20, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland, the Lakin Institute seeks African-American participants whose experience and credentials indicate they are ready to attain the highest academic positions. The program is an opportunity for open dialogue with chancellors, presidents, and CEOs. It covers all aspects of academic leadership. This year’s institute is supported by a number of organizations and search consultants to include Issacson Miller, Spelman Johnson and R. H. Perry & Associates.

“The Thomas L. Lakin Institute experience has helped over 100 community college professionals who aspired to executive leadership to reach their goals, including serving as presidents nationwide,” said Dr. Marlon Hall, President of Lassen Community College, and Convener of the PRT. “The Presidents’ Round Table is committed to growing the talent pipeline for serving our communities with capable and committed leadership.”

More than 300 participants have attended the Lakin Institute since its inception in 1994. The Lakin Institute has one of the highest graduate placement rates of any leadership institute in the United States.  One of three participants have become a college chancellor, president or CEO. It is named in honor of Dr. Thomas Lakin, a former Chancellor of the Ventura County (CA) Community College District.

About the Presidents’ Round Table

The Presidents’ Round Table (PRT) is a professional association of African American CEOs and presidents of community colleges.  PRT has charted a course for increasing visibility in the higher education arena to support African American leaders and students in community colleges.  Founded in 1983 to bring together African-American Community College leaders for the purpose of ensuring their success as campus leaders, today the association focuses on advocacy; mentorships to ensure the African-American legacy in campus leadership positions; successful matriculations of African-American students; and employment opportunities for African-Americans in community colleges across the nation with special emphasis on grooming future Presidents. PRT is an affiliate organization of the National Council on Black American Affairs and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). For more, visit