Dr. Burnette, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, joined Huston-Tillotson University as president on July 1, 2015. She served as interim President at Pierce College in Puyallup, Washington, the Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Executive Assistant to the President, Vice President for Information Technology and Services and Chief Information Officer at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Dean of Information Technology at Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington, and Manager of Consulting and Project Management Services at the Washington State Department of Transportation in Olympia, Washington. Colette has combined her IQ, EQ, entrepreneurial spirit and technical knowledge to forge successful careers in engineering, information technology and education. Before transitioning into higher education, Colette worked as a Computer Analyst at The Washington Post, was an Operations Support Engineer at Proctor and Gamble, held the position of Director of Information Systems at Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., and ran her own computer consulting firm, CompuMent.
A strong proponent of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and civic and community engagement, Colette currently serves as co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. She is also on the Minority Engineering Advisory board for The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, Austin Area Research Organization, Texnikoi, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and The Links, Inc. to name only a few. She has served on numerous boards and committees including the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Wright Patterson Air Force Base 2020 Taskforce Committee, National Association for Schools of Music Accreditation Committee, African American Male Leadership Institute Steering Committee, Ohio State University College of Engineering Advisory Board, and Central State University’s Campus Climate Committee. She currently serves on the following boards in Austin: Leadership Austin, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Greater Austin Urban League, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Advisory Council, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, and Zilker Botanical Gardens Conservatory. Her many honors include the Ohio State University Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award, Ten Most Influential Women in Austin, Administrator of the Year, Distinguished Woman of the Year, US Army Distinguished Civilian Volunteer Service Medal Award, Thurgood Marshall Foundation Chief Information Officer of the Year Award, Thurgood Marshall Chief Fiscal Officer of the Year Award, Dayton Business Journal Chief Fiscal Officer Awardee, and the National Diversity Council Glass Ceiling Award.
Colette received 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 University of Pennsylvania.
Colette is married to Daarel and they have two adult children (Daarel II of Washington, DC and Daana of New York, NY).