By Tim Leong, Director, Communications and Community Relations, CCCCD
Contra Costa Community College District (District) chancellor Fred Wood announced he plans to retire on March 31, 2020. Since joining the District in 2017, Wood is credited with bringing stability to the District during a time of enrollment challenges and significant changes in the funding formula for California community colleges.
“After considerable and thoughtful deliberations, I have decided to retire after a
four-decade career in higher education due to increased personal obligations and because I firmly believe the District is ready for new leadership”, said Wood. “Although there is never a perfect time for a leadership transition, the District is in a great place with a very strong financial position, stabilized enrollment, and doing a tremendous job of serving our students and community.”
The chancellor also cited other reasons the District is ready for new leadership by acknowledging the colleges are fully engaged and preparing for upcoming accreditation visits, the migration to a new format for district policies is underway, the capital construction bond program is moving along well, stronger relationships are being developed with educational and community partners, and the Governing Board has just approved a new District five-year strategic plan.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have Fred’s leadership over the past few years”, said Governing Board President Vicki Gordon. “His honesty, integrity, thoughtful leadership, and passion for students were exactly what the District needed during this time. We will miss his leadership and he will be a hard act to follow.”
The Governing Board will begin discussing how they will recruit the next chancellor at their upcoming meetings. The plan is to complete the selection before Wood’s retirement to ensure a smooth transition.
Wood grew up in Martinez, attended Diablo Valley College as a first-generation college graduate, and credits the community college experience for transforming his life. He is grateful for the opportunity to come “back home” and contribute to the District’s legacy of making a difference in the lives of its students.
“What I am most proud of during my tenure is the opportunity to join our Governing Board, faculty, staff, and community leaders in their work to support our students,” said Wood. “They deserve the recognition for the success of our District and our three excellent colleges.”
The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.