Dallas College News Update

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Dr. Justin Lonon

Contact: Alex Lyda; alyda@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — June 1, 2021

DALLAS – The Dallas College Board of Trustees today named Dr. Justin Lonon as the sole finalist for the position of the eighth Chancellor of Dallas College. The appointment of Dr. Lonon must be approved by a formal vote of the Trustees, following a 21-day waiting period required by the State of Texas.

Last month, Dr. Joe May announced his intent to retire as Chancellor effective in August 2022.

“Dr. Justin Lonon is a passionate advocate for Dallas College students and employees and has been a driving force through the consolidation of our institution. He truly believes in our mission to transform lives and communities through higher education and that belief shines through in everything he does,” said Monica Lira Bravo, chair of the Board of Trustees.

“The Board is confident that Dr. Lonon has the right experience, skills and vision to continue bridging the educational gap in Dallas County, making Dallas College a valued resource for students, community partners and employers. We appreciate the continued leadership Dr. May will provide the institution and Dr. Lonon over the next year,” Lira Bravo said.

May will remain in the Chancellor role through 2022 and work alongside Lonon during that time to ensure continuity through the transition.

“I thank the Board of Trustees for honoring my request to retire, but even more for recognizing the existing leadership talent we have in place by nominating Dr. Justin Lonon as the next Chancellor of Dallas College. I look forward to working with him over the next year as we build on the momentum we’ve gained as an institution,” said May.

Since joining Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) in 2005, Lonon has provided direction and vision for nearly every functional area across the college, always maintaining a keen focus on serving the needs of students, employees and the community. Lonon was instrumental in the consolidation of the former seven DCCCD colleges into Dallas College last year, leading the transition team to implement the comprehensive restructuring.

He most recently served as Executive Vice Chancellor of Dallas College with responsibility for finance, governmental relations, legal, board relations, diversity, equity and inclusion, facilities, human resources, innovation and technology, marketing and communications, safety and security, emergency management, institutional effectiveness and strategic initiatives. Lonon has previously led Dallas College’s educational policy, workforce and economic development, and institutional research divisions. He also served as Interim President for Brookhaven College in 2019, overseeing 13,000+ students.

“After more than 15 years serving this institution, I look forward to leading Dallas College as we focus on taking down barriers to education and opening doors to opportunities for the residents of Dallas County,” said Lonon. “By continuing to work with partners across the city, state and nation, Dallas College can amplify our efforts to create a pipeline of talent for high-demand jobs and fulfill our mission. I am committed to continuing the ongoing work with students, faculty and staff to create a culture of impact, innovation and caring at Dallas College.”

A strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, Lonon drove the establishment of the college’s first Office of Social Responsibility, which provides an integrated approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability and supplier diversity. He is a champion of education for all and led the educational policy team in the early development and implementation of the Dallas County Promise. He also led the legislative strategy and served as project lead for the establishment of Dallas College’s Early Childhood Baccalaureate program, the first in the institution’s 55-year history.

A longtime Dallas area resident, Lonon has actively served the community through his involvement on numerous community and civic boards of directors, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Advancement Committee, the Dallas Father of the Year Board and the Austin-based United Ways of Texas Board. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Garland Chamber of Commerce, on policy and education committees at the Dallas Regional Chamber and the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

At the national level, Lonon serves on boards including as past Chair of the Task Force on Higher Education Government Relations for the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He also serves on the board of COMBASE, a national consortium of leading community colleges.  

Lonon previously worked at Dallas City Hall, serving as the Mayor’s press secretary. Additionally, he served as communications director and chief spokesperson for a U.S. senate campaign. 

During his work in the private sector, Lonon served as Vice President and Director of Public Affairs for one of the leading independent public relations and strategic communications firms in Dallas. In that capacity, he represented various civic and non-profit clients, including Parkland Hospital, the Central Dallas Association (now DDI, Inc.), the Dallas City Retired Employees Association, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and the Downtown Improvement District. 

The Arkansas native earned his undergraduate degree in public administration from Missouri State University; his master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas; and his doctorate in management from the University of Maryland – Global Campus.

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About Dallas College

Dallas College, formerly the Dallas County Community College District, was founded in 1965, and consists of seven campuses: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richland. Dallas College offers online learning, and serves more than 83,000 credit and 25,000 continuing education students during the fall and spring semesters. Dallas College also offers dual credit for students in partner high schools and early college high schools throughout Dallas County. Dr. Joe May, the college’s 7th chancellor, has established the Dallas College higher education network in partnership with area school districts, colleges and universities, businesses, community organizations and others to support student success and college completion by removing barriers and providing services that help them earn a college credential and start their professional careers.