Board Selects Judy C. Miner as New Chancellor
The Board of Trustees has announced the selection of Dr. Judy C. Miner as Foothill-De Anza Community College District’s seventh permanent chancellor. She succeeds Dr. Linda M. Thor, who retires June 30 as the district’s top executive.
President of Foothill College for the past eight years, Miner brings a deep understanding and love of the district to the chancellor’s position. She worked for 19 years as a De Anza College administrator before becoming Foothill's president, ending her service at De Anza as vice president of instruction.
“The board is pleased to appoint Judy Miner as the next chancellor for this great district,” said President Pearl Cheng in announcing Miner's appointment June 15. “She is an energetic education champion with many years of service in community colleges. Her strong strategic vision of student equity and excellence, the respect she enjoys in the community, and her extensive state and national portfolio will take this district to the next level of leadership and accomplishment on behalf of students. We are excited to work with her in the role of chancellor."
Miner will step in as chancellor on Aug. 1 and receive an annual salary of $285,617. Trustees appointed Vice Chancellor Kevin McElroy to serve as acting chancellor until the new chancellor takes the helm.
Miner has demonstrated her commitment to students for nearly four decades and dedicated herself to closing opportunity and achievement gaps among student groups. As president of Foothill College, she led a campuswide student equity agenda that is showing gains in participation and achievement by historically underrepresented students. She has supported creativity and innovation by faculty, staff and administrators to improve instruction, student support services and administrative services.
“It is an incredible honor to be selected as the next chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District,” Miner said. “Given my commitment to student equity, educational excellence and leadership in innovation, I deeply appreciate the Board of Trustees’ affirmation of that vision and direction.”
Under Miner’s leadership Foothill College has successfully pursued grants, donations and other revenue, resulting in more than $6 million in supplemental funding for campus programs and services. She has formed strong partnerships with the business community, civic groups and other educational organizations for the benefit of students.
As chancellor, Miner said, “I look forward to offering our students even more opportunities for access and success by expanding strategic partnerships with other educational institutions, service organizations, community groups and businesses.”
“I feel very confident turning over the reins to Judy Miner, who has extensive experience as an administrator both in the Foothill-De Anza district and in the California Community Colleges system,” Thor said. “She is well respected at the state and national level and will continue to enhance our reputation as a premier community college district. I can leave this district knowing that it is in very capable hands.”
Besides strengthening community ties, Miner has increasingly taken on leadership roles at the state and national level. She currently serves on the boards of the American Council on Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Under the direction of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, she served on a working group that produced a report in 2012 for President Barack Obama on ways to increase the number college graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Locally she has served on the boards of Palo Alto University, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce and Year Up Bay Area.
“Judy is articulate and energetic and brings a sense of excitement and possibility to everything she does,” said Trustee Joan Barram, who represented the board on the chancellor search committee. “She has the ability to form partnerships and work with the local community and the Foothill-De Anza Foundation on initiatives that help students succeed.”
One example is the creation of the Foothill College Science Learning Institute, a multidisciplinary approach to bringing more underrepresented students into STEM studies. Miner established the institute and assembled a high-powered board of business and industry advisors to help guide the effort.
Although she has worked in the community college arena for 35 years, Miner brings a broad range of experience to her new position, including administration of both instructional and student services programs as a provost and dean at De Anza.
Prior 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 deep 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 began her higher education career as a registration assistant at her alma mater, Lone Mountain College, which later merged with the University of San Francisco.
“I am driven by wanting to make a difference for students,” Miner said at a recent open forum. “That is why I come to work every day, that is what makes me feel successful.”
Miner holds a bachelor’s degree in history and French from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco, where she graduated summa cum laude; a master’s degree in history from Lone Mountain; and a doctorate degree in organization and leadership, with a concentration in education law, from the University of San Francisco.
A San Francisco native, she grew up in a family of five children and was the first in her family to attend college. Her father, a boilermaker, was born on Guam and her mother, who worked in the I. Magnin shipping department in downtown San Francisco, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Miner entered college originally because she wanted to teach French at her high school. Since then she has studied five languages, become a voracious consumer of audio books and indulged her passion as a lifelong opera buff.
The district’s national search for a new chancellor began in February and a 15-member search committee reviewed applications. The committee included representatives of the Board of Trustees, faculty, administrators, classified staff, students and community representatives and was assisted by a consultant from the Association of Community College Trustees and a local search liaison.
The committee recommended four finalists who took part in four days of open forums on the campuses. Between 140 and 200 people participated in the forums each day, including those who watched via a live webcast. Many offered written comments about the candidates to trustees.
One of the nation’s premier districts, the Foothill-De Anza Community College District serves the region by providing basic skills, university transfer and career preparation to more than 63,000 students a year from a diversity of backgrounds. Foothill College is located in Los Altos Hills and De Anza College in Cupertino.