UPDATE: Dec. 12, 2018: The Board of Trustees has interviewed all three candidates and selected none. Read more here.
The hunt is nearly ending as the search for a new chancellor of the district has narrowed down to three. The candidates are Lisa Avery, Ph.D., David Dore, Ed.D. and Walter Tribley, Ph.D.
On Dec. 11, each of the candidates participated in a public forum at Las Positas, where they discussed topics such as inclusivity, financial management skills and the difficulties of overseeing two schools. The three candidates were given the opportunity to give opening and closing statements. Between the statements, candidates fielded general questions from Interim President Roanna Bennie and questions from the public. The audience consisted of a diverse group of employees from both schools as well as the district offices.
Lisa Avery spoke first, answering Bennie’s questions while striding back and forth across the lecture hall. She is currently the president of Portland Community College in Portland, Ore. Her Doctorate of Philosophy was earned in social work at University of Illinois, Chicago. She emphasized multiple times that displaying her humanity is one of the most integral parts of her leadership style.
Avery uses social media to connect with students and faculty on a more personal level, evolving her social media presence to fit whatever the most popular platform of the time is. She considers herself a “system thinker” and has a record of establishing safe spaces and activities for minority students.
An hour later, Walter Tribley spoke. Still recovering from a total knee replacement, he sat for his opening statement before standing for the public forum, rarely relying on his cane. He currently serves as the superintendent and president of Monterey Peninsula College and holds his Doctorate of Philosophy in biochemistry and biophysics.
“I do not have one preconceived idea about what I could bring. I want to learn and listen,” he stated. “(This district is) innovative. I want to join something like that.”
Tribley was highly complimentary of the district’s innovations, citing the support for “Dreamer” students, English acceleration and dual enrollment courses as three of the main examples of this. He praised the district for its balance between Chabot and Las Positas. When asked about inclusivity and his record, he emphasized that it is “embarrassing” how long it has taken for schools to get proper accommodations for students and faculty of various sexualities and genders.
The final candidate to speak was David Dore. He earned his Doctorate of Education at Pepperdine University and currently serves as president and vice chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at Pima Community College District in Tucson, Ariz. Dore’s presentation differed from the other candidates’ as he first introduced himself on a personal level, telling a story about having a sister with developmental disabilities.
“I think what is lacking (in leadership today) is empathy,” he said. His vision for the district included wanting to “lead the vision for access, equity and student vision.” He cited Fred Rogers of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” as another foundation of his teaching philosophies. Rogers once told him that “love is at the center of all learning,” which he carried with him and says still influences his decision making.
He emphasized that his personal passion for accessibility was not limited to those with just physical disabilities. Dore mentioned that he was, as far as he was aware, one of the only “out” faculty at his current district position and actively worked to make district offices a safe space for LGBTQ faculty and students. He considers himself an empathetic leader who is unafraid to make decisions.
The candidates will be involved in another forum at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif. on Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Stage One Theater. Video will be made available of both forums on Friday, Dec. 14.