A new chancellor has been selected for State Center Community College District, which has a campus in Oakhurst.
Dale Paul Parnell, Jr. was approved by the Board of Trustees Tuesday night for his new position, starting April 1, after serving as president of Norco College in Riverside County.
The state center district covers Oakhurst Community College Center and campuses in Madera, Fresno, and Clovis.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Parnell said he was humbled in taking on his new job.
“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,” Parnell said.
Parnell holds a Ph.D. in education, psychology, and community college studies from Oregon State University, as well as a master’s in guidance and counseling from Ball State University in Indiana, and a bachelor’s in international affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Trustee Bobby Kahn said the board was “more than confident” in Parnell’s abilities to lead SCCCD.
“He has a successful, positive track record and shown that he is more than ready to take on the responsibilities of a multi-college district,” Kahn said. “He’ll have a lot of work to do, and a lot of challenges, but we depend on a strong leader like Dr. Parnell to move the district forward and to keep it growing in a positive manner.”
Kahn said Parnell was selected after a 23-member search committee narrowed down 22 applicants to three finalists; Parnell, Henry Chiong Vui Yong of Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, and Ronald Taylor of Merced College.
Parnell replaces former chancellor Deborah Blue, whose contract was ended in 2014 by a board vote. His contract lasts through June 2019, with an annual salary of $265,000.
Bill Stewart, the interim chancellor since Blue’s exit, will complete his work in March. Kahn highly praised Stewart, a former SCCCD chancellor from 1985-2000, for filling in while the search for a new leader took place.