While Yosemite Community College District renews its search for the permanent replacement of former Chancellor Joan Smith, who revealed her intent to retire last year, the Board of Trustees announced their selection of Jane Harmon as Interim Chancellor.
Harmon’s term as Interim Chancellor went into effect Tuesday. YCCD Board Chair Anne DeMartini and Board Vice Chair Darin Gharat finalized contract language, which was agreed by the Board during their Dec. 14 meeting.
“Dr. Harmon is experienced in higher education and has held a variety of executive positions that will serve our district well,’ said DeMartini. “The Board looks forward to Dr. Harmon’s leadership as the District continues its work in serving the students and communities of the YCCD.”
After beginning her career in Minnesota and New York, Harmon moved to California in 2001, where she held administrative positions at Gavilan College, Kern Community College District and Contra Costa College among others.
“We are very pleased that Dr. Harmon has accepted the position. She is exceptionally qualified,” said Gharat.
Harmon also holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin, Community College Leadership Program; a Master of Science Degree in Education with a concentration in reading/specific learning disabilities from Bemidji State University; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in reading from Moorhead State University.
Harmon replaces Chancellor Smith, who provided executive leadership to the District since 2007 serving as Columbia College President (2007-2010), Interim Chancellor (2010-2011) and Chancellor (2011-present). Prior to YCCD, she served as Ventura College’s Executive Vice President of Student Learning (2002-2006), and held a variety of positions in the Ventura District, gaining instruction and administrative experience throughout her career.
The District reopened the position announcement for Chancellor in October shortly after two public candidate forums focusing on the three finalists at the time: William Dunn, Sandra Mayo and Donald Wallace. While the reasoning behind the decision to abandon all three finalists is unknown, the Board expressed “much appreciation and gratitude to the screening committee and finalists who attended the forums and were interviewed.”
“The Board has decided to restart the search process in January 2017,” said Trustee Abe Rojas in October.