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Charles Lepper

Dr. Charles W. Lepper began his role as Grand Rapids Community College's 11th president in January 2023. A creative and innovative leader in higher education, he has more than 25 years of experience at universities and community colleges.

Prior to his role at Grand Rapids Community College, Dr. Lepper served as vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), which serves more than 60,000 students across 10 campuses. During his time there, he developed and implemented the SLCC Promise, which has provided more than $5 million in free tuition since 2016. He co-led SLCC's Guided Pathways program; re-engineered the college's admissions, advising, and financial aid processes; and expanded the dual enrollment program.

Additionally, under his leadership, SLCC's Division of Student Affairs established four food pantries and the Dream Center, which assists undocumented students. He also established SLCC's Gender and Sexuality Student Resources Center, one of the many reasons the Campus Pride Index recognized the college as the most affordable "LGBTQ+ Friendly College" in the nation in 2021. Prior to his time at SLCC, he served as the vice president for Student Affairs at Tidewater Community College, a multi-campus institution in southeast Virginia serving approximately 45,000 students annually. He has also held leadership positions at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, serving as the statewide assistant vice president for Student Development Services, the statewide director of Faculty Development and Student Life Initiatives, and the system's institutional liaison to the Higher Learning Commission.

Dr. Lepper has also been active with the National Academic Advising Association, serving as a consultant to two-year institutions around the country. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Community College Association, The Right Place, and West Michigan Works!.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources and Personnel Management from Ball State University; a Master of Education in Secondary, Higher and Adult Education from Grand Valley State University; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership, Administration and Foundations from Indiana State University.

He also completed Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management in 2017 and earned a professional development certificate in trauma and resilience from Florida State University in 2021.

Portrait of Dr. Lepper.