Hartnell College
Hartnell College Main Campus in Salinas (Contributed)

SALINAS — Hartnell Community College District Governing Board has announced formation of an ad hoc board committee to gather information on and identify potential consultants who can assist the board in a search process for a permanent superintendent/president.

At the conclusion of the board’s regular meeting on Sept. 7, President Erica Padilla-Chavez said Trustees Candi DePauw, Alejandra Gonzalez and Raymond Montemayor will serve on the committee.

Padilla-Chavez said that the ad hoc committee will forward potential search firms to the full board for consideration at a future meeting and that the board will inform college stakeholders and the wider community about its direction and progress.

The board’s steps to begin a search process are in keeping with California Community College (CCC) policy, which limits interim appointments for top college leaders to two years. CCC System Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley previously suspended that time limit because of disruptions to hiring caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but that waiver expired in June 2021. 

Raúl Rodríguez was appointed interim superintendent/president of Hartnell in July 2020 and will have served in that role for the maximum allowed time in June 2022. 

Rodriguez has led the college’s efforts to keep students and employees safe while working to return to in-person instruction and campus life as quickly as possible. About half of Hartnell’s classes are in-person this fall, with a goal of restoring near-normal activity for the Spring 2022 semester, which starts in January.

Also under Rodriguez’s watch, Hartnell has opened a new education center in Soledad and completed the expansion of its center in King City, which has doubled in size. Face-to-face classes are being held at both centers this fall. 

Work continues on a third center in Castroville, a new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences on the Main Campus in Salinas and other projects, all funded by the Measure T bond.

Rodríguez has served as a top executive in the California Community College System since 1995. Prior to joining Hartnell, he was interim superintendent/president of East Los Angeles College in 2019-20. He served as chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District from 2010 to 2019.

“Dr. Rodríguez has provided strong, steady and experienced leadership at a time of both extreme challenges and great excitement for the future,” Padilla-Chavez said.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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