New superintendent/president chosen for AVC

A seasoned administrator who has worked at colleges in California, Oregon and Georgia was chosen Friday as Antelope Valley College’s ninth president.

Edward T. Knudson of Bakersfield was the unanimous choice Friday morning of college trustees to succeed Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr., who will retire June 30. However, with Fisher unable to return to work since an April 7 traffic collision, trustees decided to bring Knudson to the campus beginning June 10 as acting superintendent/president, then have him continue in the regular capacity as the college district’s chief executive beginning July 1.

Patricia Marquez will continue to serve as acting superintendent/president until Knudson’s arrival.

“We’re extremely happy that Mr. Knudson has accepted our offer,” said board President Michael R. Adams, following a closed session meeting of trustees to decide on the president. “We’re very excited about Mr. Knudson coming to our college.”

Knudson is expected to visit the campus Monday, a week before beginning his official duties, Adams said.

Knudson was chosen over three other finalists who visited the campus for public forums the week of May 20. Those not selected are Dr. Christopher Villa, Dr. Barbara Blanchard and Dr. Angela Fairchilds.

As a Vietnam-era Army veteran, Knudson’s 30 years of management experience includes four years as a non-commissioned officer in the Army, 10 years in the hospitality industry and 15 years in higher education.

His classroom experience dates back to 1989 when he taught upper division courses in restaurant operations and club and resort management as a faculty member at Oregon State University. Later, he taught at the University of Georgia and then returned to Oregon as a faculty member at Linn-Benton Community College.

It was at Linn-Benton where Knudson made the transition into education management, serving as a department chair of business management and later as division director of business and computer systems.

In 2002, he accepted a position as dean of economic and workforce development at Bakersfield College. He was appointed vice president of academic affairs at Bakersfield College in 2006.

He accepted a position as executive vice president at Moorpark College in 2009, where he served until 2011.

He now serves as an adjunct instructor at University of LaVerne in Bakersfield.

Knudson earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Oregon State University.