Hudson County Community College President Dr. Chris Reber Invited to Join U. of Michigan Diversity Scholars Network

March 20, 2024

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) President Dr. Christopher Reber

HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber was selected to join the Diversity Scholars Network at the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.

Dr. Reber was selected for membership in the prestigious group hosted by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity.

March 20, 2024, Jersey City, NJ
– Hudson County Community College President Dr. Christopher Reber is proud to join the University of Michigan’s Diversity Scholars Network (DSN), an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional community of scholars hosted by the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) at the University of Michigan. DSN has over 1,500 members representing more than 200 institutions worldwide, comprised of tenured, tenure-track, clinical, and research faculty, research staff, and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Reber was selected as a leader of applied research in student success, and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and best practices.

DSN is committed to advancing the understanding of historical and contemporary issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression, and inequality, and how they affect individuals, groups, communities, and institutions.

While the organization is comprised heavily of members from Research 1 universities, Dr. Reber’s strong and vocal stance in defense of values like diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at national academic conferences and meetings led his peers to nominate him for membership.

As President of HCCC, Dr. Reber is an ideal candidate for an organization like DSN that is working to create a more equitable and inclusive society. The College serves Hudson County, home to a rich tapestry of cultures and one of the most diverse communities in the United States. Fifty-five percent of HCCC students identify as Hispanic, and 88% as non-white. Furthermore, 80% of degree-seeking students qualify for federal financial aid.

Dr. Reber promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in post-secondary education with passion. He stated, “Diversity is more than just a catchphrase at HCCC; it is a priority that is interwoven into everything we do. It’s not just about checking off a box, it’s about promoting acceptance, seeking understanding, and having genuine empathy, respect, and love for the specialness and dignity of every person in our community.” During his time leading the College, HCCC students have coined the phrase “Hudson is Home” because of the inclusive and welcoming environment fostered by Dr. Reber and all members of the HCCC community.

Dr. Reber has devoted his entire 40+ year career to higher education and is a longtime champion for diversity and a pioneering leader who drives change that creates better outcomes for students from traditionally underserved groups. His efforts in this area have earned national recognition.

Embracing a data-driven approach toward student success, Dr. Reber spearheaded the creation of the Hudson Scholars Program, which broadens academic access and promotes student retention and completion through an innovative approach combining proactive student support, financial stipends, high-impact educational experiences, and early academic intervention.

The award-winning program recently won the 2024 Bellwether Legacy Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a community college by the Bellwether College Consortium. The Hudson Scholars Program has significantly increased student retention and completion, particularly for students from traditionally underrepresented groups including Hispanic and African American students.

The term-to-term persistence rates of Hispanic and Latino students in the Hudson Scholars Program increased by over 40%, while Black and African American student persistence increased by over 60%.  Additionally, the two-year completion rate for traditionally underrepresented Hudson Scholars represents a threefold increase compared to 2018-20. 

Students from these groups who participate in the Hudson Scholars Program are significantly more likely to stay in school and graduate on time. Ultimately, Hudson Scholars is giving traditionally underserved students the support they need to stay in school, get to the finish line, and get there faster.

The Hudson Scholars Program is just one example of how HCCC is breaking barriers for students from traditionally underrepresented groups under Dr. Reber’s leadership. HCCC is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and received the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities’ (HACU) “Outstanding Member Institution Award” in 2023 for excellence in promoting success for Hispanic students in higher education. Dr. Reber was also honored as the Education Leader of the Year by the Hudson County Latin American Chamber of Commerce in 2023 for his steadfast commitment to HCCC students and his longtime support of Hudson County’s Latino community.   

On becoming a member of DSN, Dr. Reber stated, “It's an honor to join this esteemed community of scholars dedicated to advancing understanding and fostering meaningful change in higher education and beyond. I look forward to sharing our best practices for promoting diversity and learning with other institutions, and to learning from and sharing the proven success platforms of others. Together, we can continue to drive progress and create more inclusive environments in which all students can thrive.”