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Chancellor search builds momentum

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Nicholle Salvatierra | Staff Writer

May 29, 2014

Tod Burnett was the second chancellor candidate to address questions from faculty and students May 20 as part of a three part series of forums district wide. Burnett was composed, amiable and very broad in his answers to questions from the audience. The third forum with Michael Burke is scheduled May 30.

The search for a chancellor continues with the second candidate presenting a composed front in a forum held in the Salvatore G. Rotella Digital Library Auditorium on May 20.

Tod Burnett discussed his qualifications for the position and his political history serving as deputy appointments secretary for the governor of California and working in government relations with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency.

His qualifications also include being a former vice chancellor for the California Community Colleges and recently the president of Saddleback College.

The unorthodox progression Burnett made from state to campus level leadership did cause confusion among the audience in the forum.

“You want to be at the campus level instead of the state office,” Burnett said. “It’s much more fulfilling, prestigious and academically fulfilling.”

Members from departments such as athletics, arts, study abroad and math questioned Burnett to see how he could benefit them. Burnett was equally enthusiastic about all the programs provided on campus.

“The more you get students engaged, the more you’re going to get students to succeed,”
Burnett said.

Burnett has served on the community college athletics state board and is passionate about student athletics.

“I see student athletics as a model for students success, with the incentive to compete,” Burnett said.

Burnett discussed many of his goals for the district if selected as chancellor, such as partnering with K-12 institutions to develop a stronger foundation for academics, be visible in the community and make community colleges as successful as universities by reaching out to the philanthropic community.

Burnett feels his experience working with chancellors at a multi campus district is an advantage to him if he is selected as chancellor.

As a leader Burnett has had a consistent style that has allowed him to be successful.

“Leadership is doing what it takes to make things happen,” Burnett said.

Experience at Saddleback allowed him to relate and provide alternatives for departments.

Saddleback, a leading institution in technology, has a replacement cycle for computers of every four years. The replacement cycle at RCC is between seven to ten years.

The last forum with Michael Burke will be held May 30 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Digital Library Auditorium.

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