On Wednesday, July 13, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees appointed Olivier Charles, ACCS Vice Chancellor for Student Success, as President of Bishop State Community College. His tenure begins August 1.
Charles’ appointment marks one of two of the last permanent college presidential appointments at Alabama’s community and technical colleges. All 24 of the colleges now have permanent presidents for the first time in many years.
“This is my dream job,” said Charles, “and I intend to retire at Bishop State. Growing up in Mobile’s Campground neighborhood, Bishop State was always a physical reminder that opportunities were within my reach. That community-focused role hasn’t changed, and as Mobile grows, Bishop State will be there to help our community share in its success. Mobile gave so much to me, so I see this opportunity to serve as my way of giving back.”
“We are a proud historically black community college and we will always be. I am committed to making Bishop State not just the best HBCU in Alabama but the best community college in Alabama, period. I’m ready to work with our community stakeholders, our students, and our faculty so that Bishop State can achieve its full potential,” Charles added.
“Olivier’s background, skills, and vision make him the clear choice for this role,” said ACCS Board Member Jeb Shell of Mobile, who serves on the President’s Search Committee. “He is an inspiring and energetic leader with a long-term vision for Bishop State.”
“Olivier is a leader who can be integral in building relationships and solidifying workforce training infrastructure. He has succeeded in that role at the Alabama Community College System, and will bring that success to Bishop State,” said Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker. “Olivier sees the importance of Bishop State in Mobile’s past, its present, and its future.”
Bishop State is one of the System’s six historically black colleges and the City of Mobile’s only community college. With four campuses committed to serving the residents of Mobile and Washington counties, the college works to incorporate fast-track, credentialed, transferable and degree-awarding programs to train students with new skills, increase career opportunities for South Alabamians, and support economic development efforts in the area.
Charles has served in higher education leadership for more than a decade, beginning first as Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management at the University of West Alabama and as Director of Admissions and Recruitment at Auburn University at Montgomery. Prior to becoming Vice Chancellor for Student Success, Charles served as Dean of Students at Enterprise State Community College.
Charles directed and managed best practice policies regarding student recruitment, advising, admissions, athletics, financial aid, registration, retention, marketing, ADA, Title IX, and facilities.
Charles earned both a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and a Master of Science in College Student Development from the University of West Alabama.
Charles grew up in Mobile and is a proud graduate of Murphy High School.