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Ebbers, Larry

Published onJul 30, 2021
Ebbers, Larry

(July 17, 1941 - )

Quick Facts

Dr. Ebbers career has been marked by two deep commitments – the first to Iowa State University and the second to developing community college leadership programs.


Larry Ebbers, 2017 by Rose Frantzen (American, b. 1965). Oil on board. Commissioned by University Museums. Sponsored by the College of Human Sciences. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. U2017.112

On exhibition with the Faces of Iowa State at the Iowa State University Library.

Larry Ebbers attended Iowa State University and received his BS in 1962. He taught school in Spencer and Iowa Falls Iowa and received his MS in Agricultural Education from Iowa State in 1968 and his PhD in Higher Education in 1972. Ebbers began working at ISU in 1965 and continued for the next 50 years.

During his tenure at Iowa State University Dr. Ebbers also was assistant and associate dean of the College of Education, Director of the Research Institute for Studies in Education (RISE), and chair of the department of Professional Studies. Dr. Ebbers career has been marked by two deep commitments – the first to Iowa State University and the second has been to developing community college leadership programs. Dr. Ebbers is a national expert in leadership development with over 60 publications in the areas of learning communities and community college leadership.

In 1989 he extended the reach of his work by initiating the Leader Institute for a New Center (LINC program). This program was a partnership of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, the Iowa Association of Community College Presidents, and Iowa State University Higher Education Program to develop women and minorities for leadership roles in community colleges. Conditions for women in community college leadership positions in Iowa were in a dire state, by 1996 only 26 women held leadership positions and the first women was elected president to a community college in 1997. The program involved learning directly from community college leaders how to address a broad range of issues including basic leadership skills including successful traits and behaviors, the culture of the community college leadership environment, the various rules, regulations and resources, as well as how to respond to events. Participants were encouraged to obtain advanced degrees and attend networking events and pursue further professional development.

While Ebbers was promoting community college professional development he was also advancing his own career and receiving recognition for his work. In 1992 he completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program. From Fall 2002-2010 he was a visiting scholar in the University of Texas-Austin Community College Leadership Program. During 1992-93 he served as a Visiting Scholar and Professor of Education at Penn State University. He worked directly with the Center for the Study of Higher Education and with the National Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment. In 1995 Ebbers started the Community College Leadership Initiative Consortium (CLIC) that provided leadership development for community college administrators. The program was designed to help train leadership within Iowa’s fifteen community colleges. In 1996-97 he was named a Miller Faculty Fellow at Iowa State University and integrated multicultural materials into the ISU curriculum. He traveled to Germany as a Fulbright Commission School in 2000 and the next year received the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

The two programs Ebbers developed were moved into the Community College Leadership Program (CCLP). Iowa State University had one of the oldest CCLP’s in the country founded in 1996. The head of ISU’s CCLIP in the 1980s, Jim Radcliffe, worked closely with Ebbers to establish the LINC and CLIC programs. Radcliffe established the community college/higher education PhD program and had worked with four technical schools in Iowa to upgrade them to community colleges. Upon Radcliffe’s retirement Ebbers took over the CCLP and established partnerships with the community colleges throughout the state.

Ebbers received considerable awards and recognition for his work. He was active in many professional organizations including the National Association of Student Affairs that named him one of the 30 living legacies in the profession in 2010 and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Ebbers involvement with NASPA included serving as president, editor of the journal, director of the research and program development program and director of NASPA National Academy of Executive Leadership and Effectiveness. Ebbers retired from ISU in 2016.

In 2017, Ebbers was selected to have his portrait painted by Rose Frantzen as part of the Faces of Iowa State series. This portrait is now installed in the ISU Parks Library.

Selected Sources

Ebbers, Larry H., Glenda Gallisath, Viana Rockel, and M. Noreen Coyan. "The leadership institute for a new century: LINCing women and minorities into tomorrow's community college leadership roles." Community College Journal of Research & Practice 24, no. 5 (2000): 375-382.

McNair, D. E., Duree, C. A., and Ebbers, L. “If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Using the Leadership Competencies Developed by the American Association of Community Colleges to Prepare Community College Presidents.” Community College Review, 2011, 39(1), 3–25.

Miller, Darwin J., and James L. Ratcliff. "Analysis of professional development activities of Iowa community college faculty." Community/Junior College Quarterly 10, no. 4 (1986): 317-343.

Wolf-Wendel, Lisa. Advancing higher education as a field of study: In quest of doctoral degree guidelines-Commemorating 120 Years of excellence. Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2013.


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