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Senior Fellow, The Aspen Institute
President Emeritus, Northern Virginia Community College
Bob Templin served as the fourth president of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) from 2002 to 2015. During that time, NOVA became Virginia’s largest public institution of higher education, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse community colleges, and one of the leading associate degree-granting institutions in the United States. NOVA enrolled over 78,000 students at its six campuses and awarded nearly 7,000 credentials in 2013-14. Under Templin’s leadership the college created a strategic plan to increase college access and student success for 25,000 additional students drawn primarily from low-income and immigrant communities through a collective action strategy that champions closer working relationships between NOVA and the region’s high schools, community-based non-profit organizations, universities, and employers. Today, NOVA enrolls more African American undergraduates than Virginia’s two public historically Black universities combined and over one-third of all Latino undergraduates in Virginia are enrolled at NOVA. Since 2005 NOVA doubled its graduation rate and the State Council of Education for Virginia (SCHEV) reports that the typical NOVA graduate in a technical field earns nearly $47,000 eighteen months after graduation, the highest for a community college in Virginia. During the last several years, Dr. Templin has become a leader in the national community college reform network, emphasizing the importance of student success through program completion, transfer and baccalaureate attainment, and superior labor market outcomes for graduates. Since 2010, Templin has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Achieving the Dream, a national community college reform network. He is also the founding Chair of the C-4 Network that supports the design and implementation of collective action partnerships between community colleges and Goodwill Industries International at over 90 sites across the country. Shortly following the White House Summit on Community Colleges in 2010, Templin was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. Bob Templin retired from NOVA in early 2015 and is serving part time as both a Senior Fellow with The Aspen Institute and a Professor at North Carolina State University. His current work focuses on continuing his national community college reform work by concentrating on the preparation of the next generation of community college leaders.