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Blinn names new Vice President for Instruction, Executive Director for Bryan campus

Lee and Byrd bring combined 45 years of higher education leadership experience

August 19, 2016

Blinn College has named Dr. Crystal Lee its new Vice President for Instruction and Dr. Jimmy Byrd the Executive Director of the Blinn-Bryan campus.

Blinn names Dr. Crystal Lee its Vice President for InstructionLee comes to Blinn from River Parishes (La.) Community College, where she served as Vice Chancellor of Instruction. In that role, she was the chief academic officer for River Parishes’ technical and transfer programs, served as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) institutional liaison, and was a member of the chancellor’s executive team.

“My highest priority will always be student success,” Lee said. “A strong focus on student success is a commitment to performance outcomes, including recruitment, retention, completion, and most importantly, students’ success upon completing their respective programs.”

Lee’s 20-year career in higher education includes eight years as Dean of Academic Affairs and six years as Director of Library Services at River Parishes Community College. She introduced a variety of high-demand academic programs at River Parishes; established the college’s Center for Teaching Excellence to promote faculty development; led the establishment of an early college high school in partnership with the local school district; and provided strong support for the college’s Phi Theta Kappa, Gamma Beta Phi, Rotaract, Sigma Kappa Delta and Service Learning programs to provide additional student engagement opportunities.

Lee provided institutional leadership during River Parishes’ SACSCOC candidacy, accreditation, reaffirmation and fifth-year report. As Director of Library Services, she created the college’s first library in support of all curricula and degree programs. During her 17-year tenure at River Parishes, the college grew from 100 students to approximately 2,000 students.

Lee was named the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) and River Parishes Outstanding Staff Member in 2011, and was presented the River Parishes Service Award in 2009. She was part of the LCTCS Leadership Development Institute Class of 2003 and the Leadership Ascension Class of 2006.

Lee holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and research, a Master of Library and Information Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Louisiana State University.

Jimmy Byrd named Blinn-Bryan campus directorByrd has served as Interim Executive Director of the Blinn-Bryan campus since October 2015, and will begin his assignment on Sept. 1. His career began as an agriculture science teacher at Burnet ISD, and he was named a high school principal at Richland Springs ISD in 1993. In 1998, he was named Richland Springs ISD deputy superintendent.

Byrd transitioned to higher education in 2001, serving as an assistant professor at Tarleton State University. He was an associate professor at the University of North Texas from 2005-14. Since arriving at Blinn in 2014, he has played a key role in Blinn-Bryan campus operations.

Byrd has earned the Outstanding Research Award from the University of North Texas and the Outstanding Research in Education Award from the Educational Data Collaborative. He is a member of the University Council of Educational Administration, the American Education Research Association, the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, and the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

Byrd holds a Bachelor of Science in agriculture education and a Master of Education in educational administration, both from Tarleton State University, and doctoral degrees in educational leadership and statistics from Texas A&M University. His research interests have focused on statistical reform, data-driven management, and strategic planning.