The Yosemite Community College District finally has a new chancellor as the Board of Trustees unanimously selected Henry Chiong Vui Yong to fill the position. The Board is expected to officially approve the hiring of Yong at their June meeting and the new chancellor will begin in the position on July 1.
“We [the Board] are very excited to have Mr. Yong join the YCCD family. In the short time I’ve been able to become acquainted with Mr. Yong, I have found him to be experienced in a variety of areas and am impressed with his overall knowledge and abilities,” stated YCCD Board Chair Anne DeMartini. “His ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking is truly welcome.”
Yong was selected out of four candidate finalists who answered questions during public forums in April.
“I am greatly honored, humbled and appreciative of this opportunity to serve YCCD, and I look forward to working with our partners in the community to continue to advance educational opportunities for our students and their families,” said Yong.
He will take over for Interim Chancellor Jane Harmon, who will remain at her post through June. Harmon had led the District since January 2017, following the retirement of Chancellor Emeritus Joan Smith.
Yong was among the second round of Chancellor finalists which also included Larry G. Buckley (West Hills College Coalinga), David L. Rule (Kodak Winning Fotos) and Walt Tribley (Monterey Peninsula College). The District reopened the position for Chancellor in October 2016, shortly after two public candidate forums focusing on the three finalists at the time: William Dunn, Sandra Mayo and Donald Wallace.
Yong is the ninth YCCD top administrator since MJC and Columbia College merged to form the District in 1968.
Currently, Yong is president and chief executive officer at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California where he has served in that position for six years. Prior to EVC, he served as the vice president of instruction at Taft College for six years. He also served as the dean of academic programs at Victor Valley for five years, and three years as the Associate Dean of Occupational Education at West Hills College. Prior to the community college, Yong served as an administrator for the Regional Occupational Program for seven years.
Yong received a master’s degree and Ed.S. in Educational Administration and Leadership from Loma Linda University. He is working on his Ed.D. at La Sierra University with a focus on barriers to academic success for first semester economically disadvantaged students.
The YCCD covers a 4,500-square mile area and serves a population of over 550,000, encompassing all of two counties (Stanislaus and Tuolumne) and parts of four others (Calaveras, Merced, San Joaquin, Santa Clara). The District’s two colleges, Modesto Junior College and Columbia College served over 20,200 students in spring 2017.