Chancellor Search


In preparing for the chancellor’s search, we gathered input from a wide variety of constituents regarding perceived strengths, challenges and opportunities for our district.



  • Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College, two of California’s premier community colleges, offer high quality educational and training programs, have among the highest transfer rates in the state (both in the top 10), and excel in student success metrics.


  • The District and its Colleges have exceptional reputations in the region, state, and nation, featuring an excellent faculty, staff, and administration committed to student success.


  • SOCCCD embraces and strongly engages in participatory governance as an integral part of its culture, with a shared governance model that works and successfully provides for wide-spread engagement in the decision making processes of the Colleges and the District.


  • Students and their success are at the heart of the District’s Colleges. To augment and enhance their academic success and enjoyment of the college experience, the Colleges offer a wide variety of opportunities for student participation in performing arts, forensics, intercollegiate athletics, student leadership, journalism, clubs, college governance and much more.


  • Collaborative and effective planning processes throughout the District guide goal setting, action plans, and resource allocation. The District-wide Integrated Planning and Resource Allocation Model has been developed and fully implemented to generate the District’s annual planning and funding recommendations. These processes result in a District in excellent financial condition as evidenced by clean audit reports, no debt service, and outstanding fiscal stewardship.


  • SOCCCD has stable labor relations with faculty and staff employee bargaining groups. Negotiations for all contracts have recently been completed.


  • The District places a high priority on the development and use of cutting edge technology within its Student Information System to support student success with nationally recognized, locally developed initiatives such as My Academic Plan (MAP) and a student recommendation and communication tool known as the Sherpa System.


  • SOCCCD has strong partnerships with local community, regional, and state-wide businesses, industry, government, and education. Connections to the community are critical to the mission of the Colleges and are highlighted by collaboration with local K-12 school districts for dual enrollments and extensive career pathway programs.


  • Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College contribute to a remarkable local educational community that includes some of the finest K-12 school districts in the state and world renowned public and private universities. This provide local residents a seamless opportunity to obtain an extraordinary education without leaving this region of southern California.


  • Both colleges are actively developing new programs and services, supplementing resources with grant and fundraising. Examples of successful efforts to continuously seek new resources include these recent awards:
    • Saddleback College: $2.75 million Dept. of Labor TAACCCT grant
    • Irvine Valley College: $1.5 million Dept. of Education AANAPISI grant
    • OC Pathways: $15 million (regional)

  • SOCCCD is located in South Orange County, California, in one of the most desirable places to live in the United States, with gorgeous weather, beautiful beaches, professional sports teams, museums, world-famous theme parks and ample outdoor activities.


Challenges and Opportunities

  • In future years, District and College leadership will face challenges associated with changing demographics and enrollment management in a competitive marketplace of public and private higher education institutions.  This will require adaptation to the opportunities that a dynamic environment presents and the needs of the communities the District serves.  Leaders must help all areas of the District plan and work together as a team to address these changes, with data-driven decision making and in a collaborative, rather than a competitive, manner.  As part of responding to this changing environment, a clear balance will be sought between costs and benefits of centralization and decentralization—in planning, providing services, and management.  This will be necessary to achieve the efficiencies and advantages that the District can obtain, for the benefit of students and for all employees.

  • Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College are fully accredited through the Accreditation Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). Accreditation for both colleges was reaffirmed in February 2017. Self-prescribed recommendations, as well as those emanating from ACCJC in June 2017, will provide a map for future planning and action that effectively pursues desired outcomes.


  • Requirements for measuring institutional effectiveness and higher levels of accountability have increased substantially for California Community Colleges in many areas, including:
    • Accreditation standards that require data driven decision-making and continuous quality improvement based on evidence and accomplishment.
    • The System Chancellor’s Office institutional effectiveness goal setting.
    • Student Success.
    • Student Equity.

  • Strategic Planning will continue both on a district-wide and college basis. An important strategic goal is to improve workforce development by increasing and strengthening relationships with industry partners. Upcoming development of the District’s Educational Master Plan and Facilities Master Plan will take place beginning in FY 2017-2018, which allows the District to set the stage for a teaching/learning environment for students over the next 20 years.


  • SOCCCD is building a third site, the Advanced Education Research Park (ATEP). The ATEP campus is a unique and innovative project with opportunities for partnerships between the District, other colleges and universities and business and industry. The ATEP has been in development for many years and both Colleges have committed to programs to be located on this new site which has just recently seen a ground-breaking. The goal will be to establish public-private partnerships with long-range sustainable funding sources in order to avoid competing with existing programs and services.


  • Expansion of and enhancements to offering quality online education will continue to be an important initiative.


  • The colleges are planning and coordinating with local high schools on progressive alternative education modules and program offerings, dual enrollment programs, and coordination on adult education within a regional consortium.


  • The District encourages professional development for all employees as well as the Board of Trustees. However, it also needs to develop a more formalized District-wide plan that will be focused on increasing opportunities for professional development and training based on program review and identified needs.


  • While there are current employment contracts in place for the District’s bargaining units, there is interest in, and an opportunity for the District to move toward an interest-based culture for collective bargaining and conflict resolution. Such a transition will require processes for improving mutual trust and respect in the bargaining environment and substantial training and cooperation.


  • SOCCCD is unique as one of six “basic aid” (community supported) districts in California. This results in the District receiving funding from local property taxes over the level of state’s computational funding formula. The District resource allocation model closely follows the state’s typical funding formulas for community colleges and leaves additional property tax revenues available for large one-time projects such as facilities and capital outlay. The district funding model emphasizes that planning drives resource allocations and encourages budget strategies to address ever evolving demands in a complex local, state, and national environment.


  • The development of an Education and Facilities Master Plan (EFMP) will generate longer term plans and estimated costs for needed new buildings and site improvements, renovation of existing facilities, and the transition of some facilities to new uses. The demand for career and technical education programs is rapidly growing and may require different types of facilities and more expensive equipment than a standard classroom.


  • California’s community colleges are governed by an extensive Education Code (adopted by the State Legislature and Governor) and a detailed set of Regulations (approved by the Board of Governors for the California Community Colleges) that require knowledge and understanding by College administration, faculty and staff. Leaders must ensure that existing and evolving District policies and administrative procedures ensure good practice and are consistent with state level codes and regulations in order to receive state appropriations.