CAMARILLO, Calif. –
The Board of Trustees of the Ventura County Community College District held its annual organization meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, and welcomed new members Gabriela Torres, Area 5 and Josh Chancer, Area 1. Chancellor Gillespie administered the oath of office and newly elected Board Members, including re-elected Dianne B. McKay representing Area 2, were congratulated by staff and faculty during a brief reception.
Trustee Chancer’s priorities are to work with the Board and Chancellor to create a common sense budget and ensure that financial and technical resources make it into classrooms. “My hope is that we can increase student enrollment and support the continuing development of VCCCD as a sustainable, equitable, and accessible institution,” offered Chancer. He is a resident of Ventura, former Ventura College student, full-time social science teacher at Oxnard Union High School District, and current California Lutheran University part-time faculty member.
Trustee Torres is committed to social justice issues and serving students. “It is important to understand the needs of our students, staff, and faculty,” stated Torres. She is an Oxnard resident, a counselor for the Oxnard Elementary School District, and looks forward to working with community college trustees to better serve the needs of all students.
Trustees elected Dianne B. McKay to serve as Board Chair; Larry Kennedy was elected Board Vice Chair. The Chair and Vice Chair will serve one year. Chair McKay, serving Area 2, was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. "The Board is committed to increasing access for all of our students and we want to make sure that we provide a solid foundation supporting their success," stated McKay. Since 2012, McKay has served on the Community College League of California Advisory Committee for Educations Services that plans training and events for new and continuing trustees throughout the state. She is a strong advocate for dual enrollment to increase opportunities for high school students to not only earn college credit, but also begin a path to higher education or certificate training and a living wage here in Ventura County. Chair McKay works throughout the county with elected and appointed officials to increase awareness about partnerships and opportunities to better serve the community.
Vice Chair Kennedy, serving Area 3, was first elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. Kennedy is a strong advocate for increased access for veteran students and is proud of the District’s use of technology as a means to enhance student success. Vice Chair Kennedy, a member of the California Community Colleges Veterans Caucus and the California Community College Trustees Board, says he is "excited for the opportunity to work with two new Board Members in our joint efforts to make all of the colleges more successful and better serve our communities."
Dr. Gillespie, Chancellor of the District that includes Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges, Ventura College East Campus in Santa Paula, and the District Administrative Center in Camarillo, will continue his focus of bringing quality education to students throughout Ventura County, increasing access and student success, and ensuring the viability and fiscal sustainability of the institutions. “I look forward to working with the Board to implement our strategic goals and continue to bring quality and relevant higher education to our students and communities,” commented Gillespie.
The Ventura County Community College District is a member of the 115-campus California Community College system, and serves more than 32,000 students annually. The District’s three colleges- Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura- offer programs in general education for degrees and certificates, transfer to four-year colleges and universities, career technical education, and provide opportunities to engage in co-curricular campus activities.