Dr. Johnny Hu currently serves as Interim Dean of Academic Programs at South Seattle College, where he supervises and advocates for approximately 140 faculty, staff, and administrators in the areas of Academic Transfer, Applied Baccalaureate (BAS), and Justice Involved Solutions (corrections reentry). As unit administrator, he sets the overall planning and vision for the division. He also manages a $6 million annual instructional budget that includes several grants with external partners. Previously, Johnny served as Associate Dean of Academic Transfer overseeing the math, sciences, and business areas at South Seattle College.
Raised by his Mandarin-speaking grandparents in Washington State, Johnny believes relationships, inclusivity, and community building are keys to a college’s success. He enjoys taking the time to get to know students, faculty, and staff across campus, making himself as accessible as possible, and giving back to the campus community. Johnny has served on numerous college, district, and statewide committees on topics such as: strategic planning, collective bargaining, Guided Pathways, math pathways, transfer, BAS programs, outreach and marketing, supporting undocumented students, conference planning, and implementing equitable and anti-bias hiring practices.
Johnny’s passion for the open-access mission of community colleges comes from his educational background. He earned a B.A. in pure mathematics from Whitman College and a M.S. in mathematics from Western Washington University, where he fell in love with teaching as a graduate teaching assistant. Since then, he has been math faculty at Green River College and Highline College, and a tenured professor of Mathematics at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA. After only two years at Whatcom, he was recognized for his commitment to teaching, college service, and equity with the Whatcom Full-time Faculty Excellence Award. Soon after, he became chair of Whatcom’s Mathematics Department and was selected as the founding chair of the Campus Diversity Committee by the College President.
Johnny is dedicated to supporting the recruitment and retention of individuals marginalized by systemic and institutional barriers, including students, faculty, and staff of color. He spends much of his time mentoring and giving back to others through one-on-one meetings, workshops, conferences, and events. Over the past three years, he has co-facilitated the Asian American affinity group session at the annual Washington State Faculty and Staff of Color Conference (FSOCC). He has also served as a mentor to the South Seattle College Men of Color (SMOC) group, the statewide Administrators of Color program, and the Students of Color Conference (SOCC). Currently, he is working with other Asian American community college leaders to conduct leadership trainings with a focus on equity and social justice.
Johnny completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Washington, Tacoma. His dissertation looked at the experiences and systemic barriers faced by Asian American community college presidents, using Critical Race Theory storytelling and AsianCrit theoretical frameworks. He is thankful for the many mentors who have supported him and hopes to be a resource and role model for others wherever he goes.
Johnny lives with his wife Diana who inspires him to become a better person every day. They enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest with their six-pound dachshund-chihuahua dog named Sherman, cheering for the Seahawks, and trying new restaurants.