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Cliff L. Wood EdD

Cliff L. Wood, EdD

Cliff L. Wood, EdD

President Emeritus of Rockland Community College



Dr. Cliff L. Wood has dedicated his career to community college leadership, serving in senior management over four decades at five institutions. He served as President of Rockland Community College from 2004-2017, overseeing major growth in the College’s physical plant, enrollment, community involvement and workforce development.

Dr. Wood led statewide advocacy efforts on behalf of community colleges in his capacity as President of the New York Community Colleges Association of Presidents, a position he held from 2009-13. As a key member of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, Dr. Wood plays an important role in advancing the economy of the Hudson Valley.

Dr. Wood provides volunteer leadership to numerous organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rockland Holocaust Museum & Study Center, Rockland Business Association, Cuttington University (Liberia, West Africa) and others.

In 2013, Dr. Wood received several awards, including the Rockland Economic Development Corporation Award of Distinction; Distinguished Alumnus Award, Texas A&M University Commerce and the JCC Rockland “J” Award.

Dr. Wood earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Texas A & M University at Commerce. He and his wife, Wylene Branton Wood, a recognized community leader, are the parents of four adult children and have five grandchildren.


  • Sear’s Fellow, Teacher's College, Columbia University, 1989-1990
  • League for Innovation, Summer 1990, Executive Leadership Institute
  • Doctor of Education Degree, 1973, Texas A & M University-Commerce
  • Master of Science Degree, 1967, Texas A & M University-Commerce
  • Bachelor of Science Degree, 1966, Texas A & M University-Commerce



  • Leader of the Year, Leadership Rockland, June 2016
  • Manufacturing Champions Public Leader Award, The Council of Industry, May 2016
  • Phyllis Helbraun Award, Childcare Resources of Rockland, April 2016
  • Lifetime Community Service Award, VCS Inc., October 2015
  • The Friendship Circle, Chabad of Suffern, May 2015
  • Rockland Business Association Pinnacle Award, April 2015
  • Rockland Economic Development Corporation Award of Distinction, November 2013
  • A Very Special Penguin, Penguin Repertory Theatre, October 2013
  • Texas A&M University Commerce, Distinguishes Alumnus Awards, April 2013
  • JCC Rockland “J” Award, March 2013
  • Patterns for Progress Regional Achievement Award, November 2012
  • Spring Valley NAACP Humanitarian Award, October 2012
  • Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2010
  • Nyack College Social Justice Day Award, June 2010
  • ACT (Adults Caring for Teens) Inc. Mentoring Award 2010
  • New York Community College Trustees Special Award of Recognition, March 2010
  • Nyack Branch NAACP 2010 Award, in Appreciation for Empowering the Future of our Youth
  • Association of Community College Trustees 2009 Northeast Regional CEO Award
  • Rockland Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies, Inc., 2009 Marty Mann Award
  • St. Charles A.M.E. Zion Church, 2009 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, 2008 Positive Image Award
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 2008 Edmund W. Gordon Community Recognition Award
  • RSVP (Retired Seniors Volunteer Program) 2008 Spirit Award
  • Helen Hayes 2007 MacArthur Award


Community Activities

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo's Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council, 2011 - Present
  • Advisory Board, Rockland Community Foundation 2006-Present
  • Advisory Board, Rockland County Police Hispanic Society 2006-Present
  • Advisory Board, SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Businesses 2004-2007
  • Advisory Council, Cuttington University, Liberia, West Africa
  • Board of Directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rockland County 2005-Present
  • Board of Directors, Good Samaritan Hospital 
    Director 2007-2010
    Chairman 2008-2009
  • Board of Directors, Institute for Community College Development, Cornell University 2009-2010
  • Board of Directors, Leadership Rockland 2006-2009
  • Board of Directors, National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs 
    Director 2005-2009
    Treasurer 2007-2009
  • Board of Directors, Rockland 21C Collaborative for Children & Youth 2006-Present
  • Board of Directors, Rockland Economic Development Corporation 2007-Present
  • Board of Trustees, Holocaust Museum & Study Center 2007-Present
  • Executive Leadership Team, American Heart Association Tri County Heart Walk 2008-2009
  • Holiday Volunteer, American Cancer Society
  • Life Member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • New York Community College Association of Presidents (NYCCAP)
    Member 2004-Present
    Vice President 2007-2009
    President 2009-2013



  • Wood, C.L. “Preparing for a Presidency, Even If It Isn’t Your Goal.” Exceptional Senior Student Affairs Administrator’s Leadership Strategies and Competencies for Success.  Ed. Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy and Shannon E. Ellis.  Washington, DC:  NASPA, 2011, 202-209.
  • Wood, C.L. (2006) “Preparing Adults for Careers in Teaching” NACCTEP News, December 2006
  • Cornell, H. & Wood, C.L. (Nov. 2006) “Making the Case for Amending the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002”
  • Secolsky, C. & Wood, C.L. (November 2002), The Frequencies of Student Online Activity as Predictors of Course Grade. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the North East Association for Institutional Research, Annapolis, MD
  • Wood, C.L. Creating an Inclusive Curriculum. Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1995. Chapter, “Institutionalizing Curriculum Change.”
  • Epstein, C. & Wood, C.L. “Women in Community College Administration,”Community and Junior College Journal, October, 1984.

Professional Experience

  • President, Rockland Community College, Suffern, New York 10901, May 1, 2004 - June 30, 2017
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs, County College of Morris, Randolph, New Jersey 07869, 1987 - 2004
  • Acting Provost (May 1986 - August 1986), Instructional Dean (February 1981 - June 1987), Montgomery College, (Multi-Campus Community College), Rockville Campus, Rockville, Maryland 20850, 1981 - 1987
  • Chairman, Visual Arts-Engineering, Associate Professor, Human Services / Psychology, Northern Virginia Community College, (Multi-Campus Community College), Alexandria Campus, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 1976 -1981
  • Dean of Institutional and Student Services, Houston Community College System, Houston, Texas 77002, 1973 - 1976
  • Director of Student Activities, Tarrant County Junior College, South Campus, Fort Worth, Texas, 76119, 1967 -1970


Public Speaking

Dr. Wood is available to speak to community groups on any of the following topics:

  • Rockland Community College
  • Future of Higher Education
  • Pluralism in Higher Education