Dr. Anton R. Reece, president and CEO of West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC), has served nearly 30 years in higher education. He has extensive experience in communication, including public speaking, marketing, broadcasting news, television and radio. Dr. Reece is an honor graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcasting news and a Master of Arts in counseling student personnel from Eastern Kentucky University. Dr. Reece earned twenty-four hours above his master’s from Murray State University and a doctorate in educational psychology and research at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.
Dr. Reece brings extensive student success, enrollment, retention and diversity expertise to WKCTC. Dr. Reece’s higher education career began and resulted in a legacy of firsts. He was the first Minority Affairs coordinator at the University of Kentucky Community College System in 1990. From 1999 - 2003, Dr. Reece became the first African American dean of student affairs. On October 1, 2016, Dr. Reece achieved a historic appointment as the first African American and second president of West Kentucky Community and Technical College. WKCTC has earned national distinction as a four-time Aspen Institute finalist and a four-time finalist for the Bellwether Consortium and consistently ranks in the top 10 nationally among the nation’s 1,100 community and technical colleges.
Dr. Reece is also a highly sought-after national speaker and has spoken to over 600 varied audiences in New York, Texas, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Arizona. These audiences include corporations, colleges, high schools, youth organizations, churches and prisons, and have provided him with critical material to empower others. Dr. Reece was also selected to serve nationally on the AACC’s Unfinished Business Panel to address gaps in equity among community and technical colleges. Dr. Reece has also served in various roles at the University of Tennessee, including coordinator of academic support, director of student activities and associate vice provost of academic affairs and executive director of student success.
At the local level, Dr. Reece leads efforts to actively build partnerships and engage K-12 education, business, industry, religious and community partners in Paducah and the Jackson Purchase area. Dr. Reece pioneered the annual Regional Educators Award for K-12 educators and the first Regional Business Symposium attracting over 100 businesses and CEOs to address workforce and economic development needs.
He sums up his leadership style, as “empowering others to find their voice by achieving their education and career dreams with direction and purpose.”