Dr. Collete Pierce
President and CEO
Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette is the president and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University—Austin’s oldest institution of higher learning and only Historical Black College and University (HBCU). She is a mother, a wife, an engineer, a lover of music, dogs, books, and champagne. Dr. Pierce Burnette has combined her entrepreneurial spirit and technical knowledge to forge successful careers in engineering, information technology, and higher education. She is a staunch believer that education is the great equalizer—not an option. President Pierce Burnette’s mission is to ensure that barriers to her students’ success are elucidated, deconstructed, and ultimately, obliterated. Her unwavering commitment to this mission has resulted in Huston-Tillotson University forging strong reciprocal and sustainable partnerships with entities such as Apple®, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Bank of America®, and University Federal Credit Union®. She proudly serves on the boards of Austin Community Foundation, Leadership Austin, Austin Transit Partnership, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Area Urban League, Waterloo Greenway, and the Community Advisory Board of the Austin Women’s Club. She is the chair of the board of the Central Texas Collective for Racial Equity. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Austin Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. President Pierce Burnette received her high school diploma in Cleveland, Ohio, from John F. Kennedy High School, a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Science in Administration from Georgia College. She is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management Development Program and received her Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. President Pierce Burnette is married to retired Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Daarel Burnette, and they have two adult children.