Eric Gordon is leaving one Cleveland education institution and making his way to another. 

The outgoing CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is heading to Cuyahoga Community College. Gordon announced he would be stepping down as CEO in September 2022.

This summer, he’ll become the senior vice president of student development and education pipeline. The non-contract position will pay him an annual salary of $210,000. That’s a cut from his current $276,000 at CMSD.

This newly created position will see Gordon leading initiatives across the college to enhance the student experience, according to a news release out Friday, May 26

Gordon said he’ll “develop and implement programs and initiatives that support student development — including programs that increase academic enrichment, expand mentorships and further develop college and career readiness,” per the release.  

He’ll also lead the college’s new “P-20 strategy” aimed at equipping children from preschool through their early 20s with the resources they need to succeed academically and professionally.

“I am most excited about continuing the work I loved most as CMSD’s CEO, serving as an advocate for students, working to address their needs and concerns, and collaborating with community stakeholders to identify and address gaps in the education system,” Gordon said in the release. 

Gordon is celebrated across Cleveland for improvements at CMSD under his leadership, including an increase in graduation rates by 29 percentage points to a record 80.9%. He also led efforts to bring the Say Yes program to Cleveland. Say Yes told Signal Cleveland that 62% of this year’s CMSD graduates are approved to receive Say Yes scholarships, which cover tuition costs remaining after financial aid for eligible students. 

Continuing his commitment to Cleveland’s kids

He’s joining the world of higher education as community colleges, including Tri-C, continue to work to rebound from the enrollment struggles amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This spring, though, the college’s enrollment of part-time students saw about a 3% year-over-year uptick to 12,476 students. 

Enrollment of Black students saw a 3% increase to 3,864 students this semester, too. Last year, college president Michael Baston told Signal Cleveland he would work to break down systems to better help Black students. Gordon will work as a “thought partner” to Baston in his new role, officials said. 

“No one understands the challenges facing Cleveland students better than Eric or is more committed to helping them stay in school and ultimately achieve postsecondary education or training,” Baston said in the release. 

Warren Morgan, formerly the chief academic officer at Indianapolis Public Schools, will take over Gordon’s position as CEO of Cleveland schools this summer.

Gordon’s first day at Tri-C is July 31, just a month after his last day at the district.

Amy Morona covers higher education for Signal Cleveland, in partnership with Open Campus.

Higher education reporter for Signal Cleveland in partnership with Open Campus.