District announces four finalist for LMC President

Ray Kopf, Staff Writer

The Contra Costa Community College District has selected their four finalists for the position of Los Medanos College President.

In a press release that was sent out on May 3 by Marisa Greenberg, who is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the district, it was announced that the four finalists have been selected.

“The finalists are: Matthew Kritscher, Ed.D., Claire Oliveros, Ph.D., Pamela Ralston, Ph.D., and James E. Todd, Ph.D.,” said Greenberg. 

The first finalist: Dr. Kritscher, has been serving higher education in California Community Colleges and Universities for over three decades and is dedicated to advancements in student diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. 

As an educational leader including 11 years as Dean and almost ten years as Vice President of Student Services at Chabot College, Dr. Kritscher is passionate about eliminating student equity gaps and providing support for students who are farthest from opportunity,” said Greenberg

The second finalist is Dr. Oliveros. She has over 28 years of professional experience in higher education, including her position as the inaugural Vice President of Institutional Equity & Research and Planning at Cosumnes River College. 

It is in this position where Oliveros “oversees the division for college planning, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Antiracism (DEIA) strategic initiatives,” said Greenberg. 

Not only that, but prior to her relocation to California, Oliveros served as the Assistant Provost for Student Success Initiatives at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Oliveros also served as the Executive Dean of Student Development and Learning Resources at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR. 

As a first-generation college student, Oliveros is “a dedicated educational leader with a deep commitment to equity-mindedness and servant leadership,” said Greenberg. 

The third finalist is the current Interim President at LMC, Dr. Ralston. Ralston has served to better student inclusivity over the course of her two decade career in higher education. 

Ralston has participated in and led several successful change efforts over the course of her career.

Throughout her time in higher education, Ralston has “led curricular redesign, student services program innovation, strategic enrollment, new facilities design and fund-raising campaigns and grant applications,” said Greenberg. 

Outside of her role as Interim President of LMC, Ralston has served as President of Santiago Canyon College and as Executive Vice President of Educational Programs at Santa Barbara City College among many other positions in California and Washington. 

“A passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in education, Pamela Ralston has worked to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students,” said Greenberg. 

The fourth finalist is Dr. James Todd. Todd has held a variety of positions throughout his 15 year career in California Community Colleges, including his time as a Professor, Academic Senate President and as an Accreditation Liaison Officer among other positions. 

“James is a transformational leader who grounds his philosophy and practice in principles of equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion,” said Greenberg. 

Todd is passionate in fostering access and opportunity for underserved populations as well as facilitating student success and completion. 

“He has participated in national reform movements, such as Achieving the Dream, to improve student equity and institutional outcomes,” said Greenberg.

The current selection date for the future president is currently unknown and any future events pertaining to the four finalists are currently unannounced. The community is free to access recordings of the forums on the district’s website at www.4cd.edu

In-person forums are scheduled for the four finalists at LMC’s Pittsburg campus on May 11, 2023. As of print date, the forums are still in progress, but recorded versions of them are available on the district’s website. These forums are the first opportunity for the LMC community to meet their potential future president and it is here where the finalists will make their first impression.