The Ventura County Community College District Board of Trustees voted to retain the executive management firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates, LLC to lead a nationwide search for the selection and appointment of its new chancellor. The firm will begin work immediately to seek a replacement for Chancellor Greg Gillespie, who announced his retirement from the District at the end of June.
Greenwood/Asher has extensive experience with executive search, consulting and training in PreK-12 and higher education, both nationally and internationally. The firm’s founders and partners, Jan Greenwood and Betty Asher, have deep roots in higher education, having served as presidents and tenured professors in universities. VCCCD trustees voted to contract with the firm during its Dec. 20 meeting. Greenwood/Asher was one of several firms considered following a Request for Proposals for Executive Management Search Firm Consultant for Chancellor.
“Chancellor Gillespie has done an outstanding job of leading the District and its colleges, especially during the pandemic,” said Board Chair Dianne B. McKay. “We’re looking for someone of the same caliber who has visionary leadership capabilities and can continue to build and maintain campus services and community partnerships that benefit our students, provide for an equitable workforce and create economic development opportunities in Ventura County.”
During a special meeting of the board on Jan. 8, trustees discussed that the primary role of the new chancellor will be cultivating a mutually shared vision and providing a common direction for Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges. The board is seeking a candidate who possesses the following qualities:
- The ability to embrace and effect change in an educational and business environment
- A visionary, innovative and collaborative mindset
- A focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and sustainability
- The ability to work with disparate groups to build consensus
- An understanding of working with disadvantaged communities
- A systems thinker with knowledge of student services
- An ability to find solutions
Preferred qualifications include a candidate with a Ph.D. or Ed.D., conflict resolution training and experience in the California Community Colleges System.
Gillespie was named chancellor in July 2017 after a nationwide search. Prior to his current position, he was president of Ventura College from 2013-2017. Under his guidance, the District has enacted academic programs and support services to advance student success and create a culture that promotes social justice and equity.
Recent highlights from the District during Gillespie’s tenure include:
- All three of the District’s colleges—Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura—were named among 150 U.S. community colleges eligible for the esteemed 2023 Aspen Prize.
- 5,370 students in the class of 2021 earned their degrees or certificates from Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges.
- Intelligent.com named Moorpark College Best Community College in California (2021).
- Oxnard College received a prestigious Bellwether Award for its Fire Academy program (2021).
- Ventura College received an Exemplary Program Award for the Faculty Academy from the California Community Colleges Board of Governors for its “Equitable Practices in a Virtual Educational Environment” (2020-21).
- The board of trustees approved resolutions that advance DEI and access and accessibility and support LGBTQ+ Pride Month, equal pay and Clean Air Day.
- Serving Latinx populations through acclaimed programs such as Moorpark College’s Project STEM Impacto, Oxnard College’s Proyecto Éxito initiative and Ventura College’s Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Program.
Greenwood/Asher soon will hold forums at the District’s campuses in Moorpark, Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ventura to seek feedback from students, faculty and staff. Community members are invited to attend the community forum by Zoom on Jan. 24 from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. (PST). Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86010301882?pwd=Nko4Z3kwRDFFd2pnZERENXE0bExpZz09
The District will provide regular updates on the chancellor selection process following board meetings on its website at VCCCD.edu.
Inquiries regarding the chancellor search should be directed to Narcisa Polonio, Ed.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org.