Chancellor search takes next step


Screenshots via Zoom

LMC President and moderator of the Sept. 17 public forum listens intently to Dr. Bryan Reece

Weston Hopkins, Editor-in-Chief

The search for the next Contra Costa Community College District permanent chancellor progressed further Thursday, Sept. 17 as the district held a public forum with the sole candidate, Dr. Bryan Reece.

Starting at 12:30 p.m. each school in the district and the district office held a 45 minute forum which was open to the community, students, faculty, and staff. Los Medanos College President Bob Kratochvil was the moderator for the LMC public forum, and the questions he asked Dr. Reece were submitted by LMC management and classified constituency leadership.

The first question, which was asked at all four forums, questioned why Reece’s experience, education and community involvement makes him the best choice as next permanent chancellor.

“I have three degrees in political science, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a Ph.D all from the University of Southern California … I’m very interested in the role community colleges play in social justice,” said Reece. 

When asked what he sees as the biggest challenge facing the CCCD, Reece’s answer was the equity gap.

“The equity gap is getting worse in California Community Colleges and I find this incredibly frustrating. We need to get students to be more successful and we need that success to be distributed equitably.”

Reece was then asked about the recent decisions by the governing board not to renew the contracts of the Executive Vice Chancellor Eugene Huff, Chief Human Resources Officer Dio Shipp and Chief Financial Officer Jonah Nicholas, and what he would do as chancellor to reestablish stability and trust.

“The way we build trust is we focus on the one thing we all agree on, which is student success. Every single environment that I’ve been involved with as a leader has been improved and the relationships in that environment has been improved when we’re able to build an agenda around helping students succeed in an equitable way.”

Kratochvil then asked Reece about the sudden departure that took place at his last position, and the effect that has had on his leadership skills.

“A new chancellor came in and he disagreed with the changes that needed to be made. I spent a year trying to convince him that these are the changes that needed to be made and he just simply disagreed, and so he bought my contract out.”

After the 45 minutes had passed, Kratochvil concluded the meeting and Reece moved onto the next public forum. The forums were recorded, and you can watch any of them on the district website. Also on the website is the option to make a comment or leave feedback for the governing board to consider during their decision making process. Comments will be collected until Monday, Sept 21 at 12 p.m.

The governing board will conduct a final interview with Dr. Reece in a closed session meeting Sept. 22, after which the board will announce whether they plan to offer the position to Reece or not. They will then vote on the terms of the final contract at their regularly scheduled meeting Oct. 22. To attend the meeting, please visit the CCCCD website.