The Contra Costa Community College District (District) Governing Board held a special public meeting on Friday, November 4, 2016, to announce they reached a unanimous decision to select Dr. Fred E. Wood as the next chancellor.
“All three finalists demonstrated strong leadership skills,” said Governing Board President Vicki Gordon. “In the end, Dr. Wood was chosen because of his focus on student success, building programs and services to help community college students successfully transfer to a four-year institution, experience working collaboratively with business on career technical education, and successful fundraising abilities.”
The announcement was made following a nationwide search, that began in May 2016. Potential candidates were reviewed and three finalists were selected to participate in public forums and final interviews this week.
Governing Board President Vicki Gordon recognized the dedication and work conducted by the Search Committee. “In addition, we were also very pleased and want to thank the faculty, staff, managers, and community leaders who attended the public forums and provided input on the candidates. Their feedback was important in making our decision.”
The District will begin negotiating the contract with Dr. Wood with the goal of placing the item on the December 14, 2016, Governing Board meeting agenda for review and approval.
“As a Diablo Valley College (DVC) alumni, I am humbled and extremely honored to be selected to serve as the next chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District,” says Dr. Wood. “My DVC experience changed my life, and I am living proof of the power and impact community colleges can make. I am excited to work with my colleagues throughout the District to transform the lives of all our students who strive to achieve their higher educational goals with us.”
Wood presently serves as Chancellor at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC). UMC, which was a two-year technical college beginning in 1966 and transitioned to a baccalaureate granting institution in 1993, is a work-force focused campus of the U of M system of which half of the degree seeking students are on-campus students and the other half are on-line. UMC offers an experiential learning based curriculum where on-campus students are required to complete an internship and currently offers 14 degrees fully on-line.
Chancellor Wood joined UMC after a 26-year career at the University of California, Davis, where he served as vice chancellor of student affairs from 2007 to 2012, leading one of the largest student affairs portfolios in the nation. His career at UC Davis included other leadership positions, as well, such as interim vice provost for undergraduate studies and associate dean of the College of Letters and Science, while concurrently serving as a faculty member in chemistry.
He began both his college education and professional career at the community college. Prior to UC Davis, Dr. Wood was a faculty member at North Idaho College and his first teaching assignment during graduate school was at Diablo Valley College.
A first-generation college graduate, Chancellor Wood earned an A.A from Diablo Valley College, and B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Davis. He is married and has three grown children. He enjoys hiking, biking and skiing with his family.
Wood will oversee the Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD), which 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.