The Chabot Las Positas Community College trustees are set to finalize the contract for a new chancellor at its meeting tonight.
The board has selected Dr. Jannett M. Jackson, currently president of the College of Alameda, to succeed Joel Kinnamon who left last summer.
Kinnamon moved down to the Coachella Valley and now is president/chancellor of the single college district that serves the seven desert cities. Unfortunately, Kinnamon did not go without taking a legal shot at the trustees. He filed a law suit that the trustees agreed to settle at their April meeting.
It cost a cool $300,000 for the suit to go away, of which the district paid $100,000 and its insurance carrier paid the balance. Given the stunning costs of full litigation, the district is probably better off with the matter settled, although it is quite unusual to pay off a senior executive who voluntarily left for another job. When Kinnamon told the board he had accepted the new position, they placed him on paid leave until the new position began. The debate in court likely would have centered on whether he formally resigned.
Judy Walters, the interim superintendent, said that he accepted the College of the Desert job on May 17, 2012 and told the board he was leaving as of July 2. On June 5, the board put him on paid leave from June 7 to July 6.
She also explained why a number of direct reports to the chancellor’s office had their contracts extended at the May board meeting. She had evaluated each of them and decided that they were performing their duties acceptably and that the district would gain significantly by having an experienced team in place and stable when the new chancellor comes on board.
Meanwhile, she has established a very aggressive schedule to recruit the new president for Las Positas College in Livermore. The current superintendent Kevin Walthers will depart this month for Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. Walters’ goal is to have the process completed early in the fall—a very aggressive schedule for an academic recruitment, particularly in a time of year that senior people typically are not looking for move.
She and boards across the state are wrestling with one of the unanticipated consequences of the reforms to the state pension systems that Gov. Brown engineered last year. It severely limits how much money a retired person can earn from a government agency. Typically, colleges and k-12 districts have used retired chancellors, presidents and principals to fill in while positions are vacant or a person is seriously ill.
That’s why Walters is the second interim—former chancellor Susan Cota worked for four months before the limits set in. Tonight, trustees are set to extend Walters’ contract until the end of July when Jackson is set to begin. The agenda also includes approval of a three-month contract with Guy Lease as interim president. It will be his second go-around for Lease, who served as an interim between DeRionne Pollard and Walters.