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Chancellor Search Updates

Update of May 22, 2015

Update of May 7, 2015 

Update of Feb. 25, 2015

Update of Feb. 1, 2015

Update of Jan. 20, 2015

 

Chancellor Search Update No. 4 from Board President Pearl Cheng

Date: May 22, 2015

To: Members of the Foothill-De Anza Community

From: Pearl Cheng, President of the Board of Trustees

Subject: Chancellor Search Update No. 4 – Finalists

On behalf of the search committee and the Board of Trustees, I’m pleased to introduce you to the four finalists for the position of chancellor of our district following Linda Thor’s retirement June 30. The candidates will each spend a day at Foothill-De Anza for additional interviews and to participate in open forums June 8-11.

In the order of their district visits, our chancellor search finalists are:

Jowel C. Laguerre, superintendent-president of Solano Community College District
Judy C. Miner, president of Foothill College
Deborah Budd, president of Berkeley City College
Patricia Hsieh, president of San Diego Miramar College

You can learn about the finalists’ backgrounds and accomplishments on the chancellor search pages of the district website, at http://www.fhda.edu/chancellorsearch/index.html.

We very much appreciate the work of the search committee and our consultant in bringing us such qualified individuals. Committee members labored under a tight schedule. Their hard work will allow the board to continue the selection process in keeping with the original timeline, anticipating an outcome in June.

We hope you can attend the open forums at Foothill or De Anza and give us your feedback on the finalists. Comment cards will be available at the forums.  

Here is the open forum schedule:  

Monday, June 8 – Jowel C. Laguerre

Foothill College
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Toyon Room, Campus Center

De Anza College
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Fireside Room, Campus Center

Tuesday, June 9 – Judy C. Miner

Foothill College
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Hearthside Lounge

De Anza College
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Campus Center, Conference Room A

Wednesday, June 10 – Deborah Budd

Foothill College
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Hearthside Lounge
 
De Anza College
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Campus Center, Conference Room A

Thursday, June 11 – Patricia Hsieh

Foothill College
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Hearthside Lounge
 
De Anza College
1:30-2:30 p.m.
Campus Center, Conference Room A

Thank you for participating in this important process!

Best regards,
Pearl Cheng, President
Board of Trustees

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Chancellor Search Update No. 3 from Board President Pearl Cheng

Date: May 7, 2015

To: Members of the Foothill-De Anza Community

From: Pearl Cheng, President of the Board of Trustees

Subject: Chancellor Search Update No. 3

I wanted to let you know that the district’s search for a new chancellor is proceeding according to schedule, which means that things are moving quickly! As you know, details about the search are strictly confidential. However, I can tell you that members of the search committee met this week to select which candidates they will interview, and the interviews are scheduled to take place in less than two weeks.

Staying on schedule will mean that on May 22 we’ll share the names of the finalists to be Foothill-De Anza’s next chancellor. Public forums for our campus communities to meet the finalists are currently scheduled on June 9, 10 and 11.  

I want to express my gratitude to all 15 members of the search committee for their hard work and dedication. Aided by consultant Pamila Fisher from ACCT and search liaison Mike Brandy, the committee members bring the heart and soul to our search.

 I look forward to seeing you at the candidate forums.

Regards,
Pearl Cheng, President
Board of Trustees

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Chancellor Search Update No. 2 from Board President Pearl Cheng

Date: Feb. 25, 2015

To: Members of the Foothill-De Anza Community

From: Pearl Cheng, President, Board of Trustees

Subject: Chancellor Search Update No. 2

I’m pleased to report that the search for a new chancellor is moving forward smoothly and that we’re still on track for the Board’s selection of our next chancellor in late June or early July. With your help, we’ve been able to meet all the key milestones so far, starting with the formation of the search committee. Thanks to all our participatory governance groups for appointing your representatives to meet the schedule.

It was particularly gratifying that so many of you turned out Feb. 3-4 for the public forums and meetings to discuss what we want in our next chancellor. We were fortunate to have search consultant Dr. Pamila Fisher of ACCT and search liaison Mike Brandy conduct those sessions.  

Your comments and observations at the forums were extremely helpful and we heard many common themes at them. They formed the basis for a section of the chancellor search profile titled Opportunities and Challenges. This is a key section as it gives prospective candidates a sense for what we, as a community, see as the top priorities for our executive leadership. 

Another milestone was the Board of Trustees’ approval Feb. 9 of the chancellor profile. Although it is long, we think the profile gives candidates a strong introduction to the district and will help the person who is selected get off to a good start.

You can check out the chancellor profile, see who’s on the search committee and view the timeline on new web pages devoted to the chancellor search at www.fhda.edu/chancellorsearch/index.html. 

The search committee met for the first time on Feb. 10 to discuss the search process. We very much appreciate the commitment of our committee members to finding a chancellor who can help take Foothill-De Anza to new heights of excellence and innovation.

For inquiries about the search process or to nominate individuals you believe should be contacted about applying for this position, please reach out to Dr. Fisher at pamfisher@bresnan.net or (406) 570-0516.

I will continue to update you on the progress of our search. While specific candidate information must remain confidential, I urge you to make time to attend one of the upcoming open forums to meet the chancellor finalists. If all goes as planned, the forums will take place June 9-11. Your feedback is important to us as the Board of Trustees goes about choosing the district’s next leader.

Thank you for your interest and participation in the chancellor search process.

Regards,

Pearl Cheng, President
Board of Trustees

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Chancellor Search Update from Board President Pearl Cheng

Date:         Feb. 1, 2015 

To:            Foothill-De Anza Community College District

From:        Pearl Cheng, President, Board of Trustees

Subject:     Chancellor Search Update

As I am sure you know, the Board of Trustees has officially announced the search for our next chancellor.  We are committed to conducting an equitable, inclusive, and transparent national search that will attract a strong pool of outstanding candidates. Your contribution and participation are welcome. To that end, we have scheduled open forums this Tuesday and Wednesday to get your views on what attributes, experience, and skills you view as desirable in the next chancellor. I’ve included the forum schedule below.

I am pleased to inform you that we have selected the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) to assist us with the chancellor search process. ACCT has conducted more than 400 community college executive searches and brings a wealth of information and expertise to our process.  The consultant working directly with us will be Dr. Pamila Fisher, a longtime California community college educator. Mr. Mike Brandy will serve as our search liaison. The search committee is currently being identified using our district policy guidelines. The committee will represent a cross-section of our constituents and plays a key role in this important process.

While all applicant information will be kept confidential until the names of the finalists are announced, we will keep you well informed about the process. You will receive occasional progress reports and can always find the latest information by checking the district website and clicking onto Chancellor Search. We plan to have that page operational by February 17.

To learn more about the search process and to share your ideas, you are invited to meet with Dr. Fisher and Mr. Brandy at one of the open public forums being held this week on Tuesday, February 3, and Wednesday, February 4.

At that time you will have an opportunity to describe the challenges and opportunities facing the district and the ideal characteristics you would like to see in your new chancellor. Your contributions will help develop the chancellor profile, which is an important tool in the search process. Candidates will use the profile as a guide in preparing their application packages and the search committee will use it to guide their review of submitted materials. 

Please join us for one or more of the following sessions:

Tuesday, Feb. 3 from 3-4 p.m.
De Anza College
Hinson Campus Center, Conference Room A

Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 12-1 p.m.
Foothill College
Toyon Room (Room 2020) 

In the meantime, you are welcome to send nominations to Dr. Fisher of any prospective candidates you recommend she contact directly. She and the ACCT team also are available to answer any other questions you may have. Their contact information follows. 

  • Pam Fisher, Ed.D., ACCT Consultant, at pamfisher@bresnan.net, 406-570-0516 (cell)
  • Narcisa Polonio, Ed.D., Executive Vice President for Board Leadership Services, at narcisa_polonio@acct.org, 202-276-1983 (cell)
  • Laurie Savona, Ed.D., Operations Officer for Search Services, at lsavona@acct.org, 202-595-4300 (cell)

The board and I appreciate your contributions to helping us select a chancellor who will continue the great work of the district.

Regards, 

Pearl Cheng, President
Board of Trustees

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Foothill-De Anza Mounts National Search for New Chancellor

Foothill-De Anza Community College District is mounting a national search for a new chancellor to lead one of the nation’s largest and most successful college districts at an exciting time in its history.

Dr. Linda M. Thor, a nationally respected college educator known for innovative approaches to serving students, announced that she will retire June 30, capping a successful 40-year career as a community college leader, 29 of them as a chief executive.

In a retirement message to the campus community, Dr. Thor called it an honor and privilege to have led Foothill-De Anza for the past five years, citing the strong support she’s received from the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff. She said she and her husband, who already retired, will return to the family’s home in Arizona, where their two children work as community college educators and where they lived for many years.

She is leaving the district energized by several important initiatives and with new world-class facilities, modern technology and improved funding. Foothill-De Anza is leading a groundbreaking, statewide effort that will revolutionize distance education in California community colleges and building an education center in one of Silicon Valley’s premier technology parks. 

The budget picture has improved considerably since she became chancellor in 2010, at the peak of a record-setting state budget crisis. With California enjoying a strong economic recovery, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a 2015-16 budget for community colleges hailed as one of the best in many years. A multi-year effort to increase student success has resulted in strong support for community colleges from the governor and California Legislature, bringing new resources to the district’s longtime focus on student equity. Fundraising by the Foothill-De Anza Foundation also supports student equity programs.

“We’ve been blessed by our chancellor’s leadership,’’ said Board of Trustees President Pearl Cheng. “She has kept us moving forward with great energy and innovation.” Although the board is disappointed to see her leave, she said, acceptance has settled in.

Now the Board of Trustees is seeking another dynamic leader. Noting that hiring a chancellor is one their most important duties, President Cheng said trustees want to have a new chief executive in place by this summer. Mike Brandy, retired vice chancellor of business and a former interim chancellor with the district, is serving as search liaison, coordinating with a search firm that will begin recruiting candidates nationally in mid-February.

A 15-member chancellor search committee includes representatives of the board, administration, faculty, classified staff, students and the community. The committee will screen applicants, conduct interviews and select finalists, who will be invited to visit the district and meet with the campus community. Trustees make the final decision on who will be the next chancellor.

Foothill-De Anza has a long history of distinguished leadership. Thor is the sixth permanent chancellor since the district’s founding in 1957. She succeeded Dr. Martha Kanter, who left to become under secretary of education in the Obama administration.

Before joining Foothlll-De Anza, Thor served for nearly 20 years as president of Rio Salado College in Arizona’s Maricopa Community College District. She built the college into a distance-education powerhouse, serving working adults, high school students, corporations and governments by effectively using technology and offering customized certificates and degrees and accelerated learning programs.

Before that she held increasingly responsible administrative positions in the Los Angeles Community College District, ending her tenure there as president of West Los Angeles College.

Since returning to California as Foothill-De Anza’s chancellor, Thor has served by gubernatorial appointment as one of three state representatives on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and was one of 15 higher education leaders that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed to the Committee on Measures of Student Success.

A board member of the League for Innovation in the Community College and the Community College Baccalaureate Association, she was a leading advocate for state legislation approved last year to create a pilot program allowing 15 California community colleges to offer applied baccalaureate degrees. Foothill is one of the colleges recommended to offer a bachelor’s degree, in dental hygiene.

Thor currently serves on the Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation for the American Council on Education (ACE) and was one of two community college representatives who took part in ACE’s Presidential Innovation Lab. 

In California, she is a member of the Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and serves locally on the boards of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network; the Bay Area Council Economic Institute; and the NOVA Workforce Board of Silicon Valley.

Posted Jan. 20, 2015

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