Judy C. Miner Named President Of Foothill College

Judy C. Miner named president of Foothill College


Veteran administrator endorses "excellence through inclusion"

Foothill-De Anza Community College District trustees have unanimously confirmed Judy C. Miner as the sixth president of Foothill College, recognizing her deep commitment to   strengthening the college for students, faculty and staff, and her capacity for accomplishing it.

"We are all thrilled that Dr. Judy Miner has agreed to become the next president of Foothill College,'' said board President Hal Plotkin. "Dr. Miner is an outstanding administrator and an engaging individual with a long track record as a tireless advocate for students.

"She has traveled with us to Sacramento to fight for funding many times and has helped our district develop and improve a variety of innovative programs that help our students succeed,'' said Plotkin, the first graduate of Foothill College to serve on the board of trustees. "Dr. Miner has the respect and confidence of our board and I'm sure she will lead Foothill College with great distinction."

Miner will begin her presidential appointment July 1, taking charge in time to launch the college's 50th anniversary celebration this fall and open two new complexes of landmark buildings funded by a community-backed bond measure.

She currently is De Anza's vice president of instruction and has held a variety of administrative positions at the college since 1988. She served as acting president of De Anza for the 2003-04 academic year.

Miner has a doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco and master's and bachelor's degrees in history from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco.

"This is the capstone of my professional career,'' Miner told trustees after the April 2 vote. "I am so thrilled that my vision for inclusion is the agenda you want to support and move forward.''

As the top instructional leader on campus for the past seven years, she oversees approximately 900 full- and part-time faculty and is responsible for ensuring quality instruction in the wide array of courses the college offers to prepare students for university transfer and the workforce. Over the past 18 years at De Anza she has led both academic affairs and student services programs.

"She is very supportive of faculty and their ideas to create new programs and strengthen existing programs,'' said Lydia Hearn, an English instructor and De Anza's academic senate president. "She goes out of her way to welcome new faculty and get to know them.''

District Chancellor Martha Kanter recommended Miner's appointment to trustees. During her 10-year presidency at De Anza, she worked closely with Miner.

Miner is "the right person at the right time'' Kanter said in a March 26 letter to the campus community. "She has demonstrated excellence as a faculty member in her field of history, and excellence in administrative leadership as a dean, provost, vice president and interim president. She is passionate about our mission of excellence, innovation and opportunity, and well prepared to lead Foothill College to new levels of distinction, building upon its original mission and strong tradition of 'opportunity for all.' "

Miner brings a broad range of experience to her new position. Before coming to De Anza, she worked for several years in the California Community Colleges statewide office in the areas of transfer and student services, giving her a detailed knowledge of the state's complex community college system. Early in her career she worked in student admissions and records at public and private colleges and universities. She reconnected with her love of teaching in the fall quarter of 2004 at De Anza, teaching a seminar on Azar Nafisi's "Reading Loilita in Tehran.''

At an open forum on campus last month, Miner described her vision for Foothill as "excellence through inclusion."

That vision, she said, would build upon Foothill's tradition of excellence by reaching out to more students and helping them succeed in school, particularly those from underrepresented populations, and to life-long learners in the community, offering them enriching experiences that have been a hallmark of the campus.

She said would like to see Foothill make a commitment to teaching basic skills, without which students cannot succeed in their goals of preparing for careers or transferring to four-year institutions.

As president, Miner said, she also would pursue "excellence through inclusion" by strengthening participation for all members of the campus community, making sure that "all voices are heard," and actively engaging with the external community to develop mutually beneficial relationships.

Her leadership style, she said, "is to draw on the collective wisdom of the institution'' and tap into the vision of the individuals who make the campus what it is.

"I am very excited about Judy Miner's selection as Foothill's next president,'' said Bernadine Fong, the college's president from 1994-2006. "She is an innovative and energetic person who can take Foothill to the next level. She is familiar with Foothill's culture and I know she is committed to Foothill's values and traditions.''

During a site visit to De Anza, Kanter said she heard Miner described as a collaborative and intellectual leader, a hard worker, a good listener, and someone who can work through difficult problems and treat people with respect.

"With her broad range of talents and experiences, she would be a valued asset to any college, but for those of us at De Anza, this is a bittersweet victory,'' said Letha Jeanpierre, De Anza's dean of business and computer systems. "She has supported innovative programs and facilities such as the new Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies. She has supported students and believes in meeting them where they are.''

Miner will take over from Penny Patz, Foothill's respected interim president for the 2006-07 academic year. Patz previously served as vice president for technology and instruction, career and workforce education.

Patz said that Miner brings an unusually rich set of skills to the president's job, including deep knowledge of the statewide system and extensive experience working with faculty, curriculum, enrollment management and productivity at De Anza. "She understands the district and knows the players,'' Patz said.

Miner was one of three finalists recommended to Kanter after an extensive national search by a 16-member committee made up of faculty, administrators, staff, students and a community representative. Rose Myers, Foothill's vice president of student development and instruction, chaired the committee.

|"I personally think Judy is a good choice,'' said Foothill English instructor Paul Starer. "Her experience in the community college system and certainly at De Anza makes her exceptionally qualified for the presidency at Foothill. I think she will have a vision for our college and be respectful of our culture and as she shapes and guides it."

Miner, a native San Franciscan and the youngest of five children, is first in her family to attend college. Her father, a boiler maker, was born on Guam and her mother, who worked in the I. Magnin shipping department downtown, was born in Guadalajara.

Although she has worked for more than 30 years in higher education administration, Miner entered college originally because she wanted to teach French at her high school. Since then she has studied six languages and developed conversational skills in seven others.

Miner, who goes through a book a week during her commute, has donated nearly 1,500 books on tape to the campus library. She plans to continue this tradition of sharing literature at Foothill.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District enrolls more than 45,000 students each quarter, including 19,000 at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. The district serves the communities of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and portions of San Jose. For more information, visit the district's web site at