On July 1, 2018, Dr. Larry Johnson, Jr. began serving as the sixth president of Phoenix College.
Dr. Johnson previously served as the Campus Provost and Chief Academic Officer at St. Louis Community College District (Forest Park campus), a district serving more than 70,000 students and the second largest campus of the district. As Campus Provost, he championed the implementation of Early College Academies -a partnership with the St. Louis Public School District and the School District of University City- led district-wide developmental education reform, and developed workforce partnerships.
Prior to working at St. Louis Community College, Dr. Johnson served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Broward College South Campus; Division Chair for Arts & Sciences and Developmental Education, Student Concerns Officer, and Composition & Rhetoric faculty member, at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
During his career, Johnson has provided leadership to institutions that serve predominantly African-American and Hispanic students. His research has been centered on increasing outcomes for first-generation students from underrepresented student populations.
Johnson is actively engaged in the higher education learning landscape. He is a member of the Presidents' Round Table, the National Council on Black American Affairs, and affiliate councils of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Johnson is actively engaged in national dialogues centered on student retention and completion. He is also a member of the AACC Commission on Colleges Readiness.
Johnson is also engaged in the Greater Phoenix community by serving on several advisory councils and boards of directors such as:
- Attorney General African-American Advisory Council
- Friends of the Tempe Center for the Performing Arts
- Helping Hands for Single Moms
- Opportunity for Youth Leadership Council
- Secretary of Education African-American Advisory Council
Johnson earned a Doctorate of Arts in the Humanities, with an emphasis in English Literature, from Clark Atlanta University, and a Master's Degree in the Humanities, with an emphasis in Medieval to Baroque Studies, and a graduate certificate in Institutional Research, from Florida State University. He also earned a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU).
Dr. Johnson is the author of several academic articles, presentations and webinars, and an autobiography entitled Memoirs of a Young Black Scholar; Surviving and Coping with Loss. He is a mentor to students from diverse backgrounds. He maintains that his purpose in life is to give a voice to the voiceless, in keeping with the words articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Johnson is an avid reader, traveller, HBCU marching band enthusiast, and is a self-proclaimed “foodie.” He is also a patron of the arts, wherein, he advocates for the integration of the humanities as a means to embracing humanity.
What is a fun fact about you?
While attending FAMU, I joined the incomparable Marching 100 band. I played tenor saxophone and became a member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Incorporated.
What type of music do you listen to?
My genre of music has changed over the years. However, my “first love” is gospel music, and The Clark Sisters remain my all-time favorite group. My mom always played gospel music, and the warmth and peace from the melodies energized and comforted me.
Where would you like travel one day?
As a graduate student, I became enamored by the Greco-Roman cultures. This inspired my interest in traveling one day to Greece to see the ancient ruins such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, to name a few.