A. Zachary Yamba, President Emeritus at Essex County College in Newark, NJ will step down as the longest serving college president in New Jersey on March 31, 2010. Affiliated with the college for four decades, he joined the humanities faculty when the college opened in 1968 and served as Dean of Faculty prior to his appointment as president in May 1980.
Recognized as the catalyst for more than a quarter century of extraordinary achievement that defines Essex County College, he is widely credited with transforming the college into the vibrant and progressive institution that today enrolls 25,000 students. Under his singular leadership, Essex County College has experienced unprecedented stability and growth and emerged as a leader in the community college sector, gaining significant recognition for the quality of its academic programs, its responsive community outreach, its key role in revitalizing the regional workforce, ant its impressive levels of student success.
An unrelenting advocate for the power and promise of education, Dr. Yamba’s tenure has been predicated on the enduring values of service, access and excellence. His advocacy of excellence and opportunity in higher education includes more than a decade of service as a commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. He is a founding member of the Presidents’ Round Table, an affiliate of the National Council on Black American Affairs of the American Association of Community Colleges. His numerous community affiliations include serving on the boards of the Victoria Foundation, Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corp., and the American Conference on Diversity.
He holds the title of Regent Emeritus on the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University, his alma mater, which has also inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame and awarded him an honorary degree. He also holds degrees from Rutgers University and the University for Development Studies in Ghana.
The Ghanaian-born Yamba graduated from Winneba Teacher Training College and was a specialist teacher in mathematics, language and African History before continuing his studies in the United States. He holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Seton Hall and earned his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Pacific States University and Brunel University in London. He has also done graduate work at the University of Kansas and Laval University in Canada.