CEO finalists to be at AVC next week

Five finalists for the superintendent/president position at Antelope Valley College are scheduled to visit the campus next week so people can have input into the process to find a replacement for Dr. Jackie L. Fisher Sr., who is retiring June 30.

Employees and the public are invited to open forums at the Lancaster campus, 3041 W. Ave. K, Board Room, SSV 151, at 1:30-2:45 p.m., May 20-24 to pose questions to the candidates. The candidates will meet privately with campus constituent groups at other times throughout the day.

The five finalists moving forward after a nationwide search are:

  • Dr. Christopher Villa, vice president of student services at Fresno City College, will be at AVC Monday, May 20. Previously, Villa worked as assistant superintendent/vice president of student support services at Long Beach City College and as a student services administrator at California State University, Northridge, and College of the Canyons. He has a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah, a master’s in public administration from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine. He also studied law at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Dr. Barbara Blanchard, vice president of academic affairs at Grossmont College in El Cajon, will be at AVC on Tuesday, May 21. Blanchard’s other administrative experience includes American River College where she served as a dean and interim vice president. She earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Davis, a master’s in management information systems and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
  • Dr. Utpal Goswami, vice president of instruction at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, will be at AVC Wednesday, May 22. Goswami served as interim superintendent/president at College of the Redwoods, as well as vice president/provost at Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. and as a dean at St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, Mo. He has both doctorate and master’s degrees in economics from Southern Methodist University, a master’s in development economics from Boston University, and bachelor’s in economics from the University of Delhi (India).
  • Edward Knudson, most recently executive vice president at Moorpark College, will be at AVC Thursday, May 23. Knudson’s other administrative experience includes serving as vice president and dean at Bakersfield College and a director at Linn Benton Community College, Albany, Ore. He earned a master’s in business administration from Oregon State University, as well as a bachelor’s degree.
  • Dr. Angela Fairchilds, president of Woodland Community College in Marysville, will be at AVC Friday, May 24. Her other administrative experience includes serving as a dean for the Yuba Community College District in Marysville and Yavapai College in Prescott, Ariz. Fairchilds has a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arizona, and a master’s in business administration and bachelor’s from Golden Gate University.

“We’re very happy with the five finalists we do have,” said Michael R. Adams, president of the college board of trustees. “They have a lot of strengths they can give to Antelope Valley College.”

College trustees are due to meet in closed session on May 24 to discuss the five finalists, with the selection of a new chief executive officer due to be made at the next regularly scheduled board meeting on June 10.

Candidate evaluation forms will be available at the forums for people to provide written input on the finalists.