Ricardo D. Torres
Mr. Torres joined the National Student Clearinghouse as its President and CEO in 2008. Under his leadership the Clearinghouse has continued to successfully extend its’ mission delivery of service to education, which today comprises nearly 3,700 higher education institutions and over 8,500 high schools, school districts, and 43 states executing over one billion electronic transactions annually, saving the education community over $700 million a year. The Clearinghouse is a leader in advocating privacy, transparency and responsible use of data to provide better understanding of student educational pathway performance to the benfit of students, institutions and policymakers.
Prior to joining the Clearinghouse, Mr. Torres spent his career in the private sector, both in the U.S. and abroad, spanning several industry sectors, including health care, financial services, and fast-moving consumer goods in leadership positions, including finance, sales, marketing, operations, technology, and executive management. He has been employed by a number of well-known companies, such as PepsiCo, Philip Morris/Kraft Foods and Capital One.
Mr. Torres has been an active board member of the John Tyler Community College Foundation for the past 17 years and serves on the Boards of the National College Access Network (NCAN), and the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy. He also sat on the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), where he is courrently on their Commission on Economic and Workforce Development. He was a founding member and sits on the Executive Committee of the Groningen Declaration Network Group, a multi-national group of leaders dedicated to developing a trusted international data exchange ecosystem. He was a recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s 2013 Minority Business Leader Award. Mr. Torres holds an MBA in International Finance from Georgetown University and undergraduate degrees in both Marketing and Management from Manhattan College.
Thomas W. Ross
Thomas W. Ross became President of the 17-campus University of North Carolina on January 1, 2011. Born and raised in Greensboro, N.C., he holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson College (1972) and graduated with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law (1975). After a short stint as an Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government, Ross joined the Greensboro law firm of Smith Patterson Follin Curtis James & Harkavy in 1976. He left the firm in 1982 to serve as chief of staff in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Congressman Robin Britt. The following year, at the age of 33, Ross was appointed to fill a vacancy on the North Carolina Superior Court. He held the position for the next 17 years.
From his vantage point on the bench, Ross witnessed first-hand a state justice system beleaguered by uneven sentencing and a fast-growing prison population. In 1990, North Carolina’s Chief Justice tapped him to lead a new Sentencing and Policy Advisory Committee. Over the next two years, this panel of judges, lawyers, legislators, law enforcement officers, and citizens devised a structured sentencing system that would toughen sentences for violent crimes and repeat offenses, while increasing community-based alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenses. Adopted by the NC General Assembly in 1993, the new system has become a model for similar programs nationwide.
In 1999, Ross was appointed director of the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts. Over the next two years, he led efforts to improve the management of the court system and advocated for additional resources. In 2001, he left the bench to serve as executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, a Winston-Salem-based philanthropic organization devoted to improving the lives of the people of North Carolina. During his seven-year tenure at Z. Smith Reynolds, (2001-2007), the foundation awarded about $20 million annually to non-profit groups focused on community economic development, democracy and civic engagement, the environment, pre-college education, and social justice. Ross stepped down in 2007 to return to Davidson as its President, serving in that role until he assumed leadership of UNC.
Active in civic and community activities, Ross currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Center for Creative Leadership, the Executive Committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, the Association of Governing Boards’ Council of Presidents and Intercollegiate Athletics Project Advisory Group, the Council on Competitiveness, advisory boards for the NC Humanities Council and the NC State University Institute for Emerging Issues, and the honorary Board of Directors of the Conservation Trust of North Carolina. He also serves on the boards of the National Humanities Center, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, the NC Biotechnology Center, and the UNC Health Care System. A former chairman of the UNC Greensboro Board of Trustees, he has previously served on the Boards of Visitors for UNCG, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. In addition, he has served on the boards of Davidson College, the North Carolina New Schools Project, the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the Institute of Government Foundation, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law Alumni Foundation, the Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
Ross has received numerous awards and accolades for his vast public service and professional achievements. His many contributions to the judicial system have been recognized through the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence (2000), given annually to one state judge in the nation; Governing Magazine‘s National Public Official of the Year Award (1994); the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice Award (1995); the NC Academy of Trial Lawyers Trial Judge of the Year Award (1996); the American Society of Criminology President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Justice (2007); the NC Justice Center Defenders of Justice Award (2008); and the NC Bar Association Citizen Lawyer Award (2010). He has been honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards from Davidson (2001) and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law (2005), the UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award (2015), the Echo Foundation’s Award Against Indifference (2015), and an honorary doctorate from UNCG. In addition, he has received the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award (1993), the National Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (1999), and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (1999).
Ross has been married since 1972 to Susan Donaldson Ross, a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education and a former executive director of the Greensboro Bar Association. They have two adult children.
Thomas Bailey is the George and Abby O’Neill Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is also Director of the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and of the National Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE), established in 2011 and funded by a grant from the Institute for Education Sciences. From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Bailey directed another IES‐funded center, the National Center for Postsecondary Research. With support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Dr. Bailey established the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College in 1996 and since 1992 has been Director of the Institute on Education and the Economy (IEE) at Teachers College. In June 2010, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed him chair of the Committee on Measures of Student Success, which developed recommendations for community colleges to comply with completion rate disclosure requirements under the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Dr. Bailey received the AERA Division J (Postsecondary Education) Exemplary Research Award in 2012 and in the same year was elected as a member of the National Academy of Education.
His articles have appeared in a wide variety of education, policy‐oriented and academic journals, and he has authored or co‐authored several books on the employment and training of immigrants and the extent and effects of on‐the‐job training. His most recent book, co‐edited with Vanessa Morest, is Defending the Community College Equity Agenda (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Other books include Working Knowledge: Work‐Based Learning and Education Reform (Routledge, 2004), co‐authored with Katherine Hughes and David Moore; Manufacturing Advantage (Cornell University Press, 2000), written with Eileen Appelbaum, Peter Berg, and Arne Kalleberg; and The Double Helix of Education and the Economy (IEE, 1992), co‐authored with Sue Berryman. Dr. Bailey holds a Ph.D. in labor economics from MIT.
Why gather to discuss Reverse Transfer?
- Recent NSC research indicates that in the 10 years between 2003 and 2013, 2 million individuals were enrolled for at least two years of college, transferred at least once but left college without a credential. The enrollment patterns for 40% of these students indicated that they attended institutions in multiple states.
- If students have earned the credits to qualify for a degree they should receive that degree even if the order in which they took their classes was not what was originally envisioned. The financial reward for attaining an associate degree as opposed to only a high school diploma makes the reverse transfer process a bridge for many of these students to a better future.
- A growing number of states are passing legislation that mandates that the public higher education institutions within their states engage in reverse transfer. In other states individual institutions are becoming involved with reverse transfer without the motivation of legislative action. States currently engaged in reverse transfer activities include Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. More states are becoming involved so this list is not comprehensive.
- It is clear that traditional approaches to higher education will not lead to meeting the higher education attainment goals set by the Obama Administration, multiple education focused foundations and other organizations or the goals set by individual states. Reverse transfer is one strategy that has the potential to provide significant progress toward attaining these goals.
What can participants expect to gain from attendance?
- A national perspective on how reverse transfer fits among the strategies to increase attainment of higher education credentials.
- Multiple state level perspectives on how and why reverse transfer is being emphasized at that level.
- Greater understanding of institutional level experiences with implementing reverse transfer.