State Center Community College District has a new chancellor.
The Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to hire Dale Paul Parnell Jr., president of Norco College in Riverside County, to take on the role starting April 1.
The State Center district, which has campuses in Fresno, Clovis, Madera, Oakhurst and Reedley, has been seeking a permanent leader since trustees voted to end former chancellor Deborah Blue’s contract in 2014. Bill Stewart, who has been serving as interim chancellor while trustees conducted a national search, will end his duties in March.
Parnell has served as vice president of academic affairs at Rio Hondo College in Whittier and as dean of social behavioral sciences at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga.
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He has a doctorate in education, psychology and community college studies from Oregon State University; a master’s degree in counseling and psychology from Ball State University, and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the Air Force Academy.
Parnell said in a statement Wednesday that he is “both honored and humbled.”
“I am excited to join the State Center team and work with the board, faculty, staff and students to provide the excellence in education the community deserves,” he said.
Forums were held in November where Parnell and fellow finalists Ronald Taylor of Merced College and Henry Chiong Vui Yong of Evergreen Valley College in San Jose spoke to the public.
Trustee Eric Payne said Wednesday that a 23-member search committee, including faculty, staff and community leaders, helped narrow the pool of finalists.
“I think (Parnell) is going to bring a wealth of knowledge with him in administrative leadership, and I’m optimistic that he’ll be a phenomenal asset to the district,” Payne said. “I’m certain he’s going to hit the ground running.”
Parnell’s contract runs through June 2019. His annual pay is $265,000.