Contra Costa Community College District Announces Finalists for Chancellor Position

(L) Dr. Brian Reece and (R) Dr. Raúl Rodríguez.

MARTINEZ, California – The Contra Costa Community College District (District) Governing Board has announced the selection of two finalists for the next permanent Chancellor. The finalists are: Dr. Bryan Reece and Dr. Raúl Rodríguez.

Public forums will be conducted via Zoom and recorded at each college and the District Office on Thursday, September 17, 2020, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The public forums will last approximately 45 minutes each, and are open to the community, students, faculty and staff. A detailed public forum schedule, links to the public forums, and information on how to submit a question to be asked will be available on the District website at

For those who are unable to join the September 17 public forums, links to all 8 recorded Zoom sessions will be made available on the District website. A comment box has also been created to submit your input that will be shared with the Governing Board for their consideration.

Following the public forums, the Governing Board will conduct final interviews of the candidates in closed session on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, and is expected to announce the candidate with which they will negotiate a contract soon thereafter.

At their regularly scheduled public meeting on Wednesday, October 14, 2020, the Governing Board will vote on the final contract and employ the District’s next permanent chancellor.

Bryan Reece, Ph.D.

This is Dr. Reece’s 30th year working in higher education, with 15 years of senior management experience. He has held positions as College President, VP of Academic Affairs, Dean, and private sector management. He earned a Ph.D., MA and BA from the University of Southern California (USC) and taught Political Science as a tenured faculty member for 19 years. Dr. Reece has a documented record of moving community colleges forward to improve the academic success for students, with particular expertise in assisting students from historically under-served communities. He has worked extensively with legislative bodies and government agencies at the local, state and federal levels and has a record of success with public-private partnerships and fundraising.

Dr. Reece has been a transformational figure at three community colleges including Cerritos College, Crafton Hills College and Norco College. His most recent accomplishment came under his leadership as the President of Norco College where he organized college and community leaders into teams that implemented programs to improve the lives of students, community members, and college personnel. Some of the more notable accomplishments include the following.

Student Development

Under Dr. Reece’s leadership and through a deeply collaborative approach, Norco College started the prison education program in partnership with California Rehabilitation Center (a state prison). They added 11 dual enrollment partnerships with local high schools and expanded the JFK Middle College program (JFK is largest middle college in California). The College expanded the veterans education program, receiving national recognition from Military Times four out of five years. Dr. Reece helped secure Norco College as one of 20 colleges in the California pilot project for Guided Pathways and organized a team to lead deep implementation of the Guided Pathways framework including a complete college reorganization. To decrease the equity gap at the College, he managed the development of a campus equity plan which guided the overhaul of hiring practices to bring in more diverse employees (over 50% of hires came from communities of color during his tenure). The College added equity goals and objectives to the new Educational Master Plan and launched a robust professional development program with primary emphasis on equity. To improve support for marginalized groups, his team established dedicated spaces and expanded services for UMOJA, men of color, Latinx, DACA, LGBTQ+, and Foster Care students. The efforts achieved measurable results with an overall increase in student head count for the college by 9.6 percent, an 18.3 percent improvement in overall student completion of degrees, certificates and transfer readiness, a 50 percent increase in transfers to the University of California System, and a 26 percent increase in completion of degrees, certificates and transfer readiness for students of color.

Institutional Development

Under Dr. Reece’s leadership, Norco College improved systems with the implementations of EduNav for student educational planning, Salesforce for tracking students across college life cycle, custom scheduling application development for multi-year, cloud-based schedule development and custom development of MAP, an articulation platform for veterans. To expand resource development for the College, Dr. Reece’s team launched the annual “Dinner with the President” as a fundraising and friend-raising event, expanded the President’s Advisory Board with civic leader representation throughout the region, launched the Visionary Circle for private gift giving, and expanded the apprenticeship program in partnership with local businesses. To develop facilities, they initiated development of a new Early Childhood Education Center and new Veterans Resource Center. They developed a new Facilities Master Plan around a mixed-use framework and updated several facilities across campus. Dr. Reece’s expertise as a political scientist was leveraged in legislative advocacy for the college to successfully secure a state appropriation for new Veterans Resource Center, a state appropriation for new Early Childhood Education Center, a state appropriation for new Workforce Development Center, federal language submission to NSF for favorable STEM development at the college, and development of pending legislation for dual enrollment in CA. At the strategic level, the Norco College team led development of a new Educational Master Plan, Facilities Master Plan and Equity Plan. They initiated development of a new shared governance plan and led development of the college accreditation document. The achievements under Dr. Reece’s leadership led to raising over $18M through grants, gifts and appropriations, accumulating a gift and grant portfolio of more than $43 million, expanding soft funding to more than 35 percent of the college budget, and being named “Great College to Work for ” by Chronicle of Higher Education in 2018 and 2019.


Raúl Rodríguez, Ph.D.

Raúl  Rodríguez, Ph.D., is currently the Interim President/Superintendent at Hartnell College in Salinas, California.

From August 2010 until June 2019, Dr. Rodríguez served as the Chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD). As the Chancellor of one of the largest community college districts in the state of California, Dr. Rodríguez oversaw a district that covers one quarter of the land area of Orange County, registers an annual enrollment of more than 80,000 students, and is one of the largest employers in the region with more than 4,000 employees.

Prior to joining RSCCD, Dr. Rodríguez held a number of positions in both single college and multi-college community college districts in California. With approximately 25 years of experience as a community college CEO, his previous administrative experience includes the following: Superintendent/President of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton; President of Los Medanos College in the Contra Costa Community College District; Interim President of San Jose City College; Vice President of Instruction at San Jose City College; Dean of Instruction at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California; and Director of Institutional Research at Cabrillo College, among others.

Dr. Rodríguez earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz. He also possesses a Master’s Degree from Fairfield University in School and Applied Psychology and a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. An educator who taught psychology at Cabrillo College and the University of California, Santa Cruz, he is also a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.

Dr. Rodríguez served on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) for seven years. He filled the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, and Immediate Past Chair as well as chairing numerous ACCJC committees, including the Policy Committee. He has chaired ten visiting teams and served as a team member on a number of others.

Community and professional service has always been a high priority for Dr. Rodríguez. He recently served an eight-year term on the Board of Directors of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens. He has served as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana and is on the Board of Directors of the National Community College Hispanic Council. He has been a member of the Orange County Taxpayers Association, the Rotary Club of Orange, the Rotary Club of Pittsburg, the Junior Achievement, and he has served several terms on the Chief Executive Officers Board of the California Community Colleges. Dr. Rodríguez has also been a member of the Board of Stewards for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona for the last four years.

He was named as one of the Top 25 Hispanic Educators in the U.S. by Hispanic Outlook Magazine in 2016.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.


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