MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Olivier Charles said when he was a child, he grew up four blocks away from Bishop State Community College. Now, he is the president of the institution.
“I’m certainly thrilled and honored to be the president of Bishop State Community College,” said Charles.
“It’s honestly my dream job, I don’t think a lot of people get to say that but this is a dream job for me
to lead an institution I grew up a few blocks from.”
Charles said he already has big plans in store for his first 90 days in the position.
The first step is making himself well known to staff, students and those in the community.
“I think over the next 90 days I certainly want to make it my business to meet every single employee at Bishop State,” said Charles. “I also want to make sure that I meet people that are external to the college as well so the mayor, the superintendent, some of our K-12 leaders, and listen to them. I just want to go around and listen to people to make sure Bishop State is doing what they need to do, but at the same time I want to make Bishop State the best community college that it can possibly be.”
Charles said before he makes any changes to the Bishop State, he wants to assess what is already working, and find ways to make the institution even better.
“I want to get there and assess the college and make sure that I understand our position first before I change anything,” said Charles. “I want to listen to the people there, but most importantly I want us to focus on being the best we can possibly be.”
With only six HBCU community colleges in the state, Charles said he is determined to make Bishop State one of the best of its kind.
“Bishop State was founded at a time when people of color didn’t have a place to go to school, and it has grown and it continues to serve that role,” siad Charles. “I want to do whatever to move our city and surrounding cities of Mobile and Washington Co. and move it forward.”
Charles will begin his role as president of Bishop State Community College on Aug. 1.