4CD Chancellor placed on leave, vice-chancellor takes the reigns


Cathie Lawrence

Mojdeh Mehdizadeh takes over district chancellor position while Bryan Reece is put on paid leave.

Dylan Davidson, Staff Writer

The Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board held a special meeting on Sept. 14 and placed second-year District Chancellor Bryan Reece on paid administrative leave.

Governing Board President Andy Li broke the news in an email addressed to district staff and announced the interim replacement.

“The governing board has appointed Mojdeh Mehdizadeh to serve as acting chancellor until further notice. We ask for your support of Mojdeh during this time.”

Mehdizadeh, the vice-chancellor of education and technology, also sent an email directed to district staff and shared her thoughts on the situation. 

“Thank you for the wonderful words of support already coming through. I am deeply committed to working collaboratively with all of you,” she wrote. “I know that you may have questions. As with any personnel matter, please respect the process and the individual during this time.”

She also said everyone in the district community should “focus our collective energies on supporting our students and one another.” 

LMC President Bob Kratochvil said he is unable to comment on Reece being placed on leave but offered words of support for Mehdizadeh.

“Acting Chancellor Mehdizadeh has widespread support from her colleagues – faculty, classified professionals, and managers – and always has students at the forefront of her actions and decision-making.  She has done incredible work in every role she has assumed in the district, and I am confident she will do an outstanding job in the assignment of acting chancellor for however long she will be in that role.”

LMC student Austin Green, who sits on the district governing board as a student trustee, does not expect the action to affect students.

“I can’t really comment on a complex personnel matter such as this one due to confidentiality,” he said. “However, from a student perspective, I don’t see a major impact on students and have the utmost confidence in our acting chancellor.”

Jeffrey Michels, executive director of the United Faculty, is concerned about the situation but is confident in Mehdizadeh’s leadership.

“From a UF perspective, this is certainly bad news insofar as Chancellor Reece has been accessible, collaborative, and pro-faculty since he started at 4CD,” he wrote in an email to faculty. “But there is good news in that Acting Chancellor Mehdizadeh is someone with whom our UF leadership already has a good working relationship.”

Aside from this particular issue, Michels indicated the UF is also concerned about how many managers have recently been placed on leave.

“The lack of stability and growing personnel shortage at the district office is also troubling (we now have three senior administrators on involuntary leave),” he wrote. “Our UF has serious concerns (which we have been voicing for years now) about the weaponizing of complaints in our district and the way 4CD handles investigations.”


— Chase Wheeler and John Naranjo contributed to this report 

Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story and will be updated when more information becomes available.