Kenneth Brown, president of the El Camino Community College District Board of Trustees, died unexpectedly yesterday in Los Angeles.
Brown was the immediate-past president of the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) and served as its president from 2021-22, leading fellow trustees and colleagues as campuses returned from the pandemic. He joined the CCCT board in 2016 and served as a voice for trustees across California’s 116 community colleges, guiding the board on positions and policy issues.
“In true form to his time as a champion high jumper, Ken always aspired to higher levels of leadership, commitment, and excellence throughout his statewide service as League CCCT President,” said Larry Galizio, Community College League of California President and CEO. “As an adjunct professor of physics and engineering professional, he always challenged his trustee colleagues by giving ‘homework assignments’ to share with their respective board members in the district.”
Brown was a steadfast supporter of DEIA initiatives, and as a member of the League’s Trustee Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) implementation workgroup, he championed practices to help trustees' roles in integrating inclusive practices in their districts. He continued his leadership on the CCCT’s Board Financial Aid Implementation Committee as well as the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI) Change Leadership Committee. Nationally, Ken was appointed to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.
“Ken represented what every trustee hopes to accomplish in their service to students’ educational opportunities,” said Marisa Perez, CCCT president and Cerritos College trustee. “He truly had students as his first thought in anything he did, especially our students of color. Ken advocated for students in his leadership role with El Camino Community College District, in his actions as a CCCT board member and president, and in his time in the classroom.”
Brown believed that serving as a member of the El Camino Community College Board of Trustees was one of the great honors of his professional life. He was also an adjunct faculty member at Cal State Dominguez Hills, teaching undergraduate physics, physical science and math courses.
Ken was a Senior System Engineer for Northrop Grumman, which he joined in 2015 after working for more than 20 years as a Senior Engineer and Project Controls Liaison at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ken received his B.S. in Computer Science and Physics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, and a M.S. in Applied Physics from Clark Atlanta University. His family included his wife, Karla, and two sons.
“In our work as community college trustees, we have had the opportunity to partner with remarkable leaders. Ken rose to the top of this group. He advocated for excellence and access in education, and uplifted countless others to share his joy and dedication to student success,” Perez said.