J. David Armstrong, Jr. brings more than 32 years of experience as a state and national leader in higher education and economic development. In July 2007, he was appointed the sixth president of Broward College, and now oversees one of the largest and most diverse institutions in America, with more than 63,000 students across 12 campuses and centers in South Florida.
Under President Armstrong’s leadership, Broward College has consistently been recognized among the top community colleges in the country. The college has been named one of the top ten community colleges in the nation by the Washington D.C.-based Aspen Institute twice, having first been given the recognition in 2012 and again in 2016. Broward College also ranks as one of the top ten associate degree producers in the country by Community College Week, this year ranking second in the nation. Under his leadership, the College has conferred nearly 475,000 bachelor’s and associate’s degrees, certificates and industry certifications.
With a strong commitment to the community, and a true understanding of the ever-evolving workforce landscape and the changing role of higher education, President Armstrong has guided the College toward better addressing the persistent skills gap concern, providing career opportunities to students, and contributing skilled workers to local industry and business. The annual economic impact of Broward College is $1 billion – representing 1.5% of the total regional economy or roughly 23,340 average-wage jobs. In 2016, Broward College was named the “Economic Development Partner of the Year” by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance for initiatives such as aligning its curriculum with skills needed by targeted industry companies, including aviation and technology.
In 2009, President Armstrong helped initiate the introduction of several baccalaureate program offerings. Today, the College offers 14 different options in a variety of high-demand fields that are a direct result of local workforce needs, including information technology, nursing, supply chain management, education and more. The most recent addition, a bachelor’s program in aerospace sciences, was recently approved by the State Board of Education in November, 2016.
Under his leadership, Broward College has supported the thriving and vibrant student community by expanding access to higher education with several new locations, including the Coral Springs Academic Center, the Miramar West Center, the Health Sciences Simulation Center and the Academic and Laboratory Science Building at Central Campus, and Broward College’s fourth campus – Broward College Online. In addition, the College has continued to form international educational partnerships with other centers and affiliates located in Sri Lanka, Spain, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and several locations in China.
During the most challenging state budget reductions in the College's history, President Armstrong managed to balance the budget while adding new programs. While most colleges and universities implemented significant cost increases to students, Broward College kept tuition flat for three consecutive years.
President Armstrong has also helped pioneer a revolutionary change to the way students approach and interact with higher education. In 2015 Broward College was selected as one of 30 institutions nationwide to participate in the Pathways Project, led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Within each of the eight pathways are a multitude of suggested degrees which lead to a range of careers, helping change the way students connect their college experience to future careers.
President Armstrong serves in a variety of positions with non-profit, workforce and educational organizations. He is a past Chair of Leadership Florida and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance and currently serves as the Alliance’s co-chair for the Six Pillars Economic Program. President Armstrong also serves on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Florida’s Future, Broward Workshop and Broward College Foundation.
He has also been recognized for his influential work and service in the business community, receiving several awards, including the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Southern Region CEO/President of the Year, Symphony of the Americas “Style and Substance” award, the Leadership Broward “Profiles in Leadership” award, the Seafarer’s House “South Florida Business Leader of the Year” award, Leaders in Florida South Florida Business Journal “Diamond Award,” South Florida Business and Wealth “Apogee Award,” Urban League of Broward County’s Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award and recognitions such as South Florida Business Journal’s Power Leader and Gold Coast Magazine “50 Most Powerful People in Broward County.”
President Armstrong was previously the Chancellor of the Florida Community College System, where he oversaw the 28 college systems and the State Board of Community Colleges. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, as well as an alumnus of the Leadership Florida Class of 1999-2000.
Armstrong received his master's degree from Troy State University in management and graduated with his bachelor's degree in social science from the University of Montevallo in his home state of Alabama. In his spare time he enjoys watching his son play soccer, reading, developing business outside the college, hiking in the mountains and listening to country music on his tractor at his small family farm in Alabama.