NOCCCD Chancellor Cheryl A. Marshall announced her retirement effective fall 2021 after five years of service on Jan. 26.
As chancellor Marshall was able to increase dual enrollment with K-12 districts, develop a leadership academy for employees, and oversaw the educational master plan for the years 2021-2030. Her most notable achievement, however, was granting first-time, full-time students free tuition for two years through the North Orange Promise Program.
“She’s one of the best chancellors in the state,” said Dr. Barbara Dunsheath who serves Area one on the NOCCCD Board of Trustees. “She’s collegial, forthright, a leader in organization knowledge, she knows how to be a change agent, and she really was good at setting strategic directions.”
The district hopes to instate a new chancellor by the end of summer, but according to District Director of Public and Government Affairs Kai Stearns, nothing has been determined quite yet.
Chancellor applicants are first screened by management, faculty, students and employees alike from each campus as well as district representatives. Together with two community members, an equal opportunity/diversity representative, and an appointed committee chair, the selection group chooses at least three finalists for the Board of Trustees to vote on.
“The chancellor is a key person in this district, and we will do everything in our power to make sure it is a good choice. The last time we had to vote, we did not hire anyone the first round, ” said Dunsheath.
If the Board of Trustees feels as though their options are insufficient, they hold the power to ask the selection committee for additional candidates.
These finalists hold forums on each NOCCCD campus. As of now, the specifics of how and where the forum will be held are unclear due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
“The process will be transparent, inclusive, and will include lots of different groups. The process is best when you get participation, and that doesn’t lessen the fact,” Dunsheath commented, referring to the potential changes COVID-19 will bring to the forums.
For Marshall, the pandemic brought on changes that the next chancellor will continue to address such as operations and safety, allocating emergency funds, and deciding how and when campuses should reopen.
Despite her achievements, to be a visible and present chancellor was something that she missed. Prior to the shutdown, Marshall held a coffee with the chancellor session every semester that has been postponed due to COVID-19.
“There’s no perfect place, but I think we do amazing work when you look across the state and see the challenges the other districts have. It’s truly been great to finish out my full time career here at North Orange,” Cheryl A. Marshall stated as she reflected on her past years as chancellor.
She asks for the next chancellor to be courageous and keep the student’s best interests in mind.