4CD Chancellor Fred Wood announces retirement

Fred Wood announced his retirement from his position as chancellor on July 17.

Fred Wood announced his retirement from his position as chancellor on July 17.

Emma Hall, Editor in chief

On Wednesday, July 17, Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Fred Wood announced that he will be retiring from his district position. Wood plans to officially retire on March 31, 2020.

“After considerable and thoughtful deliberations, I have decided to retire after a four-decade career in higher education due to increased personal obligations and because I firmly believe the District is ready for new leadership”, said Wood in a district-wide press release.  “Although there is never a perfect time for a leadership transition, the District is in a great place with a very strong financial position, stabilized enrollment, and doing a tremendous job of serving our students and community.”

Wood joined the district board in 2017 and has been “credited with bringing stability to the District during a time of enrollment challenges and significant changes in the funding formula for California community colleges.”

As Wood announces his retirement, other members of the board have shown support and gratitude for his service working for the district.

“We have been extremely fortunate to have Fred’s leadership over the past few years”, said Governing Board President Vicki Gordon in the press release.  “His honesty, integrity, thoughtful leadership, and passion for students were exactly what the District needed during this time.  We will miss his leadership and he will be a hard act to follow.”

4CD was previously under significant controversy after putting Dr. Katrina VanderWoude, the president of Contra Costa College on administrative due to “an investigation of a personnel matter” according to The Advocate. 

CCC Professor AmPim told KTVU that VanderWoude was being accused of age discrimination and reverse racism. The African American Staff Association and the El Cerrito NAACP branch called upon the district to give full transparency to the investigation. The mayor of San Pablo, Rich Kinney, expressed support for VanderWoude at the time of her leave in a letter addressed to Wood.

“You made an excellent choice to hire her and I hope you and the Board will not let politics or minor issues prevent you from reinstating her as soon as possible.” wrote Kinney.

Currently, no action has been taken in regards to VanderWoude’s administrative leave.

Wood previously attended Diablo Valley College as a first-generation college student which according to him made him grateful being apart of the district board, giving him an opportunity to give back to the community.

The press release stated the Governing Board will begin to discuss recruitment for the next chancellor in upcoming meetings.