J. David Armstrong, Jr. brings more than 25 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 60,000 students across 12 campuses and centers in South Florida. With a strong commitment to serving the community, the College has a dynamic influence on the region it serves. 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.
Under President Armstrong’s leadership, Broward College was named one of the top ten community colleges in the nation, according to the Washington D.C.-based Aspen Institute, and consistently ranks as one of the top ten associate degree producers in the country by Community College Week. 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. Since 2012, Broward College received four grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, totaling more than $17 million, addressing the current and future needs of the workforce. In 2009, he oversaw the introduction of several baccalaureate program offerings. Today, the College offers 12 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.
To support the thriving and vibrant student community and to expand access to higher education, several new locations, including the Coral Springs Academic Center and Miramar West Center opened in 2012 and 2014, respectively. President Armstrong also oversaw the establishment of Broward College’s fourth campus – Broward College Online. In 2014, the Health Sciences Simulation Center, a three-story, state-of-the-art building dedicated to creating an engaging, real-life simulated clinical experience that mirrors an acute-care facility, opened on the College’s Central Campus. Also, the Academic and Laboratory Science Building opened in 2015. With President Armstrong’s support, the College has continued to form international educational partnerships with other centers and affiliates, located in Shanghai, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia.
Recent highlights of his presidency include the introduction of several special and unique community events, such as the Broward College Speakers Series, Village Square and the Fringe Festival.
During the most challenging state budget reductions in the College's history, President Armstrong managed to balance the budget while adding new programs, including manufacturing and new workforce bachelor’s degrees in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM) areas to serve student and community needs. While most colleges and universities implemented significant cost increases to students, Broward College kept tuition flat for three consecutive years.
Under President Armstrong's leadership, Broward College has developed a new strategic plan focused on "Transforming Students' Lives by Connecting, Challenging and Completing." The plan emphasizes online learning, math redesign, a summer program for developmental students, student educational plans and other initiatives to lead Broward College to "best in class" status among its peers as measured by student learning gains and successes.
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.
President Armstrong serves in a variety of positions with non-profit, workforce and educational organizations. He is a past Chair of Leadership Florida, an 800-member group of leaders dedicated to engaging Floridians on the state’s most-pressing issues, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the region’s economic development public-private partnership. In this role, President Armstrong co-chaired the Six Pillars growth strategy for Broward County that maps out the vision for the next two decades in Broward County. President Armstrong also serves on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Florida’s Future, Broward Workshop and the Broward College Foundation.
He has also been recognized for his influential work and service in the business community, receiving several awards, including the 100 Top Business Leaders in Florida South Florida Business Journal’s Diamond Award, South Florida Business and Wealth’s Apogee Award, and recognitions such as, South Florida Business Journal’s Power Leader and Gold Coast Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful People in Broward County.
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 travelling, visiting museums, attending concerts, plays, opera and dance performances, as well as watching soccer.