by Gale Holland | LA Times
April 17 2010 -- The Los Angeles Community College District’s board of trustees has named a state education official from Virginia to head its nine campuses.
Daniel LaVista, the new chancellor, is executive director for Virginia’s Council of Higher Education, which coordinates education efforts for the state’s public colleges and universities, a district spokesman said in a written statement. LaVista, 66, will replace interim chancellor Tyree Wieder on Aug. 1, at an annual salary of $370,000 a year. Board president Mona Field said LaVista emphasized in his interview for the position that his focus was students.
"How you take a student who isn’t college-ready and make sure they’re up to speed and can transfer successfully [to a four-year college], that’s what he was about," Field said in a phone interview.
LaVista, 66, is the son of immigrants, and has a breadth of experience, she added. He has worked as president of two community colleges in Illinois, and as chancellor for the community colleges in Baltimore County, Md.
Field said she expects LaVista to be involved in hiring an inspector general to oversee the district’s $5.7-billion bond construction program.
Wieder, the former president of Valley College, came out of retirement to head the district after the June 2009 departure of former chancellor Marshall Drummond.
The Los Angeles Community College District, one of the nation’s largest two-year college systems, educates 250,000 students a year at its nine campuses: Mission College, East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Los Angeles Valley College, Harbor College, Pierce College, West Los Angeles College and Southwest College. It also operates a satellite campus in South Gate.
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