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Community college district names new chancellor

Contract negotiations with Fred Wood pending

The Contra Costa Community College District's governing board members announced at a special meeting Friday that they have unanimously decided to select Fred Wood, Ph.D., a Diablo Valley College alumnus, to be the district's next chancellor.

District officials plan to negotiate a contract with Wood and place it on the governing board's agenda for approval at its Dec. 14 meeting.

Wood currently serves as chancellor at University of Minnesota Crookston, and previously worked for 26 years at University of California at Davis, including as vice chancellor for student affairs between 2007 and 2012.

He earned his associate degree from Diablo Valley College, then his bachelor of science and doctorate degrees from UC Davis in chemistry.

"I am humbled and extremely honored to be selected to serve as the next chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District," Wood said.

"My DVC experience changed my life and I am living proof of the power and impact community colleges can make," he said.

Wood is set to succeed retiring chancellor Helen Benjamin, Ph.D., who has served in that role since 2005 as part of a career with the district that spans more than 25 years.

The Contra Costa Community College District board announced its decision following a nationwide search that began in May and culminated with three finalists who participated in public forums and final interviews last week.

"All three finalists demonstrated strong leadership skills," governing board president Vicki Gordon said in a statement.

"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," Gordon said.

The two other finalists were Gene Huff and Kindred Murillo, Ph.D.

Huff has worked with the Contra Costa Community College District since 2001, serving since 2013 as executive vice chancellor of administrative services, overseeing fiscal services, human resources, information technology, police services and risk management areas for the district.

Murillo, who has served in the California community college system for 20 years, is currently superintendent/president of Lake Tahoe Community College. She previously worked in the Contra Costa district as vice chancellor or administrative services.

The community college district oversees Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg and educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon.

Story by Bay City News Service. DanvilleSanRamon.com staff contributed.

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