Daniel J. Phelan, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer
Jackson College

Daniel Phelan bio photosmallerDaniel J. Phelan, Ph.D., has been president and CEO of Jackson College (MI) since 2001. He is board chairman of the Community College Center for Student Engagement, and serves on the boards of the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, the Higher Education Research and Development Institute, the Michigan Community College Association, and the Jackson-based economic development organization, The Enterprise Group. He is also the past chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) based in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Phelan’s contributions to the community college movement include innovation, design thinking practice, quality improvement, board governance, service, and visioning. His work led to the redefinition of Jackson College’s culture with the creation of a Total Commitment to Student Success (TCS2), one given to the love, care, and service of others.

He is a national presenter and author of numerous books, professional articles, monographs, and essays that have appeared in various publications. His book Unrelenting Change, Innovation, and Risk: Forging the Next Generation of Community Colleges was published in 2016. His latest book entitled The Community College Board 2.0: Covenant Governance, was published in 2021.

Dr. Phelan holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University, an M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University. He has been honored for his work with the Continuous Quality Improvement Network’s Legacy Award, the Association of Community College Trustees CEO of the Year Award for the Central Region, the Association for Innovation and Transformation’s Legacy Award, among many others.

Dr. Phelan is married to Dr. Adriana Phelan. They have four daughters, Katie, Michelle, Maggie, and Isabella.


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