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Dr. O. Lee Douglas joins Cypress College as new Vice President of Instruction

Dr. O. Lee Douglas. Courtesy photo.
Dr. O. Lee Douglas. Courtesy photo.

Cypress College is proud to announce the arrival of the new Vice President of Instruction, Dr. O. Lee Douglas, who began in his position on October 5.

Douglas said he has long admired Cypress College and sees the school as an admirable institution that is providing pathways to brighter futures for all of its students and its community-at-large.

“When the position opened up at Cypress College, I jumped at the chance because of what they stood for, and the wonderful reputation the school has,” Douglas said. “And their motto, ‘We take this journey together,’ speaks volumes about the institution.”

Douglas said he has a number of goals he hopes to achieve in his new role. His highest priorities include continuing the great work and tradition of serving the students and community of Cypress College. His second goal is to work with faculty to promote equitable outcomes for all student groups to close the equity gaps ensuring students continue to achieve at a high level.

The work looking at programs, policies, processes, and pedagogy to address unintended barriers to student success has been Douglas’ life’s work through positions at various institutions, including El Camino College, Pepperdine University, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and, most recently, Long Beach City College.

“I have always been a champion for equity,” he said. “Making sure all students have equal opportunity is an obligation we have as a community college. And I have a personal obligation to provide students with what they need to succeed. We need to provide that type of help, support, and instruction.”

Cypress College President Dr. JoAnna Schilling said this is one of the reasons Douglas was brought on board.
“Dr. Douglas is deeply committed to dismantling systemic, structural barriers that produce inequitable student outcomes,” Schilling said. “I am thrilled that he has agreed to join our leadership team and look forward to the great things we will accomplish together under his academic leadership.”

Douglas is hoping his visibility as a successful individual who believes in the individual capability of every student at Cypress College, along with the collective support of the institution, will motivate students to work their hardest to achieve their full potentialities.

“I’d say to the younger version of myself, ‘Believe in yourself.’ It may seem a little trite, but it’s true. I didn’t have a lot of good role models to look to. I didn’t know if I could go to college. So believe in yourself, and find others who believe in you. You can be what you see.”

Dr. Douglas Jr. was raised in Southern California and completed his bachelor’s degree in communication at Pepperdine University, master’s degree in education from California State University at Dominguez Hills, and Ed.D. in community college leadership from National American University.

This article was released by Cypress College.