President placed on administrative leave


Denis Perez

Sitting in her campus office in August 2018, Contra Costa College President Katrina VanderWoude discusses her journey to becoming the 12th president of the college.

By Cindy Pantoja, Editor-in-Chief

After less than one year serving as president of Contra Costa College, Dr. Katrina VanderWoude, along with two of her top officials, has been placed on administrative leave pending separate district investigations.

In an email sent May 29, Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Fred E. Wood detailed the administrative changes to come, along with who was selected to temporarily fill the presidential role.

According to the email, Dr. VanderWoude has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an investigation of a personnel matter. Also, interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Susan Kincade and interim Vice President of Student Services Carsbia Anderson have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of a separate investigation.

Wood’s campuswide email reads, “As with all personnel matters, I am not able to share the details of the investigations. I know these decisions leave a leadership void at the college and our district is committed to mitigating the impact.”

VanderWoude, who serves as CCC’s 12th president, was appointed to the position on June 26 of last year.

Anderson, the former Monterey Peninsula College vice president of student services, and Kincade, the former Modesto Junior College vice president of instruction, took their positions in mid-January as the first dual VPs in Contra Costa College history.

CCC is no stranger to administrative upheaval as VanderWoude serves as the fourth college president in as many years.

The chancellor’s email also outlined an agreement made with Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong to serve as acting college president until the investigations have concluded.

Magalong released a statement through a campuswide email May 30 urging faculty and staff members to remain resilient in the face of uncertainty and transition.

“While we find ourselves at yet another transition point, our track record indicates that our campus community will rally together to ensure we remain the beacon of hope our community has relied upon for 70 years,” Magalong wrote.

“We may be weary, but without a doubt, we have who and what it will take to continue standing strong.”

Magalong also acknowledged the precarious nature of leadership as of late at CCC, while also praising faculty and staff for improving learning outcomes through adverse situations.

Magalong wrote, “Over the last two years, we’ve seen presidents and vice presidents come and go, but you — our solid team of classified professionals, faculty and managers — have dug in and served our students in such outstanding ways that key indicators have only improved.”

The director of business services assured members of the campus community that more details of the transition would be forthcoming along with plans to identify coverage gaps and develop a provisional organizational structure.