Residents, students and faculty of Imperial Valley College on May 1 had the opportunity to hear from the finalists for college president.
The person chosen will replace President Víctor Jaime, who will be retiring at the end of June after working in education for the last 38 years. The Imperial Valley College Board of Trustees also held a special meeting to interview the candidates.
The board is expected to select a new president this month.
The five finalists are Robert A. Frost, Ph.D, dean of the John Adams Campus of City College, San Francisco; Martha Garcia, Ed.D, vice president of student services at IVC and interim vice president of instruction; G.H. Javaheripour, Ed.D, Yuba College president; Christopher Villa, Ed.D, vice president of student services at Los Angeles Mission College; and Wei Zhou, Ph.D, past president of Crafton Hills College.
Frost said his main goals are to make state legislation work for the college, improve the college curriculum and look for study aboard opportunities. He said there are changes in state legislation regarding on community colleges.
“We need to make sure state legislation and state funding works well for us,” Frost said.
Garcia, the only local candidate and woman seeking the position, said she wants to see more student access to services, continued communication with faculty and staff, and keep the collaboration with state and federal partners.
Javaheripour spoke about this 40-year career and the need for education and training in rural communities based on his experiences in Arizona. He said that model can be made to work with the Imperial Valley’s community and bring training and better educational opportunities to the valley.
“By working all together we can achieve a lot of things so we can benefit our students, our constituents, so we can improve help improve the economy of the Imperial Valley,” Javaheripour said.
Villa spoke about his ties to the Imperial Valley and impressions of the community’s interaction with the college.
“What struck me and what motivated me to apply is how the people of the Imperial Valley are very involved with the college and how much it means for them because of the opportunities that it has have given them,” Villa said.
Zhou spoke about the how IVC has progressed in the last few years and that he would like to help the college move forward with new programs that help students achieve greater levels of success.
“We cannot do this in a year or two--but it’s a long-term process where we will need to work together to position the college as one of the best in the state and the nation,” Zhou said.