Superintendent-President SearchSuperintendent/President Search Communications


Nov. 19, 2021

The Hartnell Community College District on Nov. 17 launched a nationwide search for a permanent superintendent/president to be appointed this spring and start work in July.

Members of the district’s Governing Board voted unanimously at their regular meeting on Nov. 16 to approve a position announcement, search timeline and the composition of a search committee that will identify and recommend finalists for their consideration.

They will be assisted in the search by Community College Search Services, a California-based firm hired with unanimous board approval on Oct. 19.

Interim Superintendent/President Raúl Rodríguez, appointed in July 2020, will continue to serve through June.

The position announcement, posted with other documents and information on the Hartnell College website, highlights Hartnell’s goal of continual innovation to “serve the needs of our region’s diverse and growing population and ensure accessible higher education for all.” The deadline for application is Jan. 14.

In an announcement letter on the website, Board President Erica Padilla-Chavez said the district will appoint a chief executive “prepared to uphold, and raise, the standard of excellence that makes Hartnell College one of the most dynamic and innovative community colleges in all of California.”

“This person will exemplify our shared commitment to an overarching mission: ensuring the success of our diverse Salinas Valley students, whether they continue on to complete a four-year degree or immediately enter the workforce,” Padilla-Chavez wrote.

Composition of the 17-member search committee will be: the Governing Board’s student trustee, a Governing Board member, a representative of the Associated Students of Hartnell College, two representatives of the college’s Academic Senate, one representative of the Hartnell College Faculty Association, three representatives of the classified staff, three representatives of college management personnel and five community members, to comprise representatives of K-12 education, the Hartnell College Foundation, the Salinas Valley workforce sectors of agriculture and nursing/allied health and the Five Cities group of Salinas Valley communities.

The timeline, subject to change from unforeseeable circumstances, calls for the search committee to recommend finalists to the Governing Board by mid-February. Following background checks, the board intends to interview finalists and hold a public forum for each finalist in early March. They plan to select a successful candidate in time to complete the hire by mid-April.

The Governing Board will provide regular public updates on the search process, which will also be placed on the superintendent/search webpages.

  1. Our 16-member Search Committee is confirmed, and the first official meeting was held on Friday, December 10, The Committee is composed of a cross-section of college/district constituent groups and community affiliate representatives. The agenda for the first meeting included EEO training, orientation/overview of search process and timeline, preparation for application screening and first reading of draft interview questions.


  1. The formal Position Announcement was posted for advertisement/recruitment on November 19, 2021, and the initial filing period closes on Friday, January 14, (8 weeks)


  1. Through Human Resources the Position Announcement has been sent via the statewide State Chancellor Office Listservs to all senior/executive-level officers (Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, CIOs, CAOs, CSSOs) For good measure we sent the Position Announcement out to these executives at the start of the advertisement period in November 2021 and again following the Holiday season on January 3, 2022. A recruitment letter announcing the position was prepared by Board President Padilla-Chavez and sent to all CEOs in the California CC system. In addition, HR submitted the Position Announcement to the full list of publication sites provided below.


  1. The Position Announcement was sent through the CCSS national listserv to approximately 2200 community college CEOs


  1. Human Resources and I will collaborate to screen all applications for minimum qualifications on January 18/19,


  1. Our next Search Committee meeting is set for Friday, February 4, 2022. This will be a full-day, in-person meeting, and the major task will be to review and screen all eligible applications and select the applicants to be invited for first-round


  1. As a reminder, the first-round interviews will be held in-person on February 16 & 17,


Respectfully Submitted, Stan A. Carrizosa Sr.

CCSS Search Consultant

On Friday, February 4th the Superintendent/President Search Committee met to review and screen all eligible applications submitted by interested candidates. There were 15 applications received by Human Resources during the allowed filing period and 11 met the minimum qualifications for screening by the committee. 

Using a common application rating form committee members independently scored all applications to assess each candidates' education, experience and leadership qualities specified in the formal Position Announcement.

The independent results from each committee member were then summarized and analyzed by the committee in an effort to identify the applicants they selected to be invited for a first-round interview. The committee reached consensus on the selection of seven (7) applicants who will be invited for first-round interviews. 

The committee is now preparing to conduct first-round interviews this month and from these interviews they will make their recommendation to the Board of Trustees of the applicants to be advanced as finalists.

The committee is working diligently and are to be commended for their extreme professionalism, thoroughness and their genuine interest being put forth to support and assist the Board with this very important responsibility.


Stan A. Carrizosa Sr.

CCSSSearch Consultant

March 2, 2022

The Hartnell Community College District Governing Board today, March 2, announced three finalists for the position of permanent superintendent/president and has scheduled in-person open forums for March 11.

The finalists are:

  • Michael Gutierrez, president of Sacramento City College
  • Brian Sanders, vice president of Instruction for Columbia College (Sonora, Calif.)
  • Christopher Villa, who most recently served as president of Portland (Ore.) Community College

The finalists will introduce themselves to the college and the greater community during separate 45-minute open forums on March 11 in Steinbeck Hall, starting at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Steinbeck Hall is located in Building C on the Main Campus, 411 Central Ave., Salinas. The forums also will be broadcast live via webinar, although those will be view-only, not interactive.

For more information about the finalists and the public forums, please visit this webpage. Links to the live forum webinars will be posted there and shared publicly as soon as they are available.

Governing Board President Erica Padilla-Chavez thanked all candidates who applied during a nationwide search and the 17 members of a search committee that included students and representatives of college bargaining units, college management, key industries in the Salinas Valley, and the Hartnell College Foundation.

“We sincerely appreciate the search committee members’ investment of time and their thoughtful work to review applicants with the best interest of Hartnell students in mind,” Padilla-Chavez said.

The Board intends to approve appointment of Hartnell’s new permanent superintendent/president at a special board meeting on March 22, with an expected position start date of July 1.