Dr. Damon A. Bell has been selected as interim president of Contra Costa College. He assumes the post following the controversial resignation of former president Dr. Katrina VanderWoude in August.
On Wednesday, the Contra Costa Community College District will be asked to approve Dr. Bell’s contract through June 30, 2021.
Meanwhile, Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, who has served as acting president over the last three months, will return full-time to her role as the District’s executive vice chancellor of education and technology, according to the district.
“I am very impressed with Dr. Bell’s honesty, integrity, commitment to student success, and respect for the participatory governance culture,” District Chancellor Fred Wood said in a statement. “He has over 25 years of administrative experience, most of which has been at the community college including over 10 years as a Vice President and a year serving as Interim President. Dr. Bell has a clear commitment to Contra Costa College, eagerly agreeing to a contract length that will help bring the stability and guidance Contra Costa College needs at this time. We are excited that Dr. Bell has accepted this leadership opportunity and I look forward to working with him.”
In the statement, Dr. Bell said he was grateful for the opportunity.
“I love and feel right at home with the diversity of the students and staff, and appreciate the responsibility we have to serve our students and community to the best of our abilities,” he said.
In May, VanderWoude and two interim vice presidents were placed on administrative leave due to separate unspecific complaints filed by college employees, according to the East Bay Times. Dr. VanderWoude later resigned in a settlement with the District. The decision was opposed by some staff at CCC, including the African American Staff Association.