District leader to retire March 2020

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District leader to retire March 2020

Fred Wood gave a speech on Opening Day Aug. 23 to talk about his retirement.

Fred Wood gave a speech on Opening Day Aug. 23 to talk about his retirement.

Krys Shahin

Fred Wood gave a speech on Opening Day Aug. 23 to talk about his retirement.

Krys Shahin

Krys Shahin

Fred Wood gave a speech on Opening Day Aug. 23 to talk about his retirement.

Charles Reed, Staff writer

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This summer’s announcement of Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Fred E. Wood’s retirement next spring brought positive reflections of his tenure as chancellor. Wood informed the district community in an email, July 17 that he would be retiring March 31, 2020.

After serving in higher education roles for 40 years, Wood decided it was time to retire. 

“Due to personal obligations, and my belief that the district is ready for new leadership,” said Wood, continuing, “the district is in a great place with a very strong financial position, stabilized enrollment, and our faculty and staff are doing a tremendous job of serving our students and community.” 

Wood is credited with many successes in his career. One achievement that stands out during his nearly three years as chancellor is bringing stability to the district during a time of enrollment challenges and significant changes in state funding for California Community Colleges.

Los Medanos College Bob Kratochvil had good things to say about Chancellor Wood’s tenure. 

“In addition to joining us at numerous LMC events, he has attended meetings of our three Senates to engage in dialogue with our campus community on topics of institutional importance,” said Kratochvil. He continued by saying, “On many occasions, he has also highlighted the hard work and accomplishments of LMC’s students, faculty, classified professionals, and managers. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Governing Board President Vicki Gordon expressed that the district has been extremely fortunate to have Wood’s leadership over the past few years. 

“His honesty, integrity, thoughtful leadership, and passion for students were exactly what the district needed during this time,” Gordon said. “We will miss his leadership and he will be a hard act to follow.”

Gordon also gave a nod to Wood’s work on the budget, securing benefits for Community College faculty specifically with retirement and healthcare for those members. Another accomplishment Gordon pointed out was that Wood’s work with the budget made funds more easily accessed at a lower interest rate for projects like the new Brentwood Center groundbreaking.

Reflecting on his career, Wood said, “he is most proud of is the opportunity to join our governing board, faculty, staff, and community leaders in their work to support our students, that they deserve the recognition for the success of our district and our three excellent colleges.”

The board has already launched the replacement process hiring a national search firm to find a new chancellor, and now Wood plans to “work in the shadows” as a consultant to answer questions from the applicants as well as from the trustees. 

The board will be deciding soon who in the district will coordinate the hiring process, scheduled just before winter break.

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