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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

The 4CD newly elected permanent chancellor is …

The search is over, Mojdeh Mehdizadeh is the new permanent chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District.

The Contra Costa Community College District announced the permanent chancellor earlier this week: Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, who has been the interim chancellor since 2022, is now the district’s 11th permanent chancellor.

In October the district announced the three finalists for the permanent chancellor position, which included Santanu Bandyopadhyay, Carlos Cortez, and Mojdeh Mehdizadeh.

“On behalf of the Governing Board, we are delighted that Ms. Mehdizadeh will continue leading 4CD as permanent Chancellor. Her commitment to our mission of transforming the lives of all our students is unwavering, and she ensures that students are at the forefront of every discussion and decision. Her 36 years of leadership at 4CD has helped us maintain our legacy of higher education excellence,” Governing Board President Fernando Sandoval stated in a press release.

Mehdizadeh has been in the 4CD community for a long time. She served as the president at Contra Costa College from 2016 to 2018, the Executive Chancellor of Education and Technology from 2018 until she took over as interim chancellor in 2022. Before her 30-year career in the district – including 20 in leadership – she was a student at Diablo Valley College. 

Mehdizadeh said she is feeling honored and grateful to be the next permanent chancellor and will continue to focus on leading the community.

“It is truly an honor to be selected as the next permanent Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District,” she said in a press release. “I am grateful to the members of the Governing Board, our community, and employees for their trust in me to lead 4CD in transforming the lives of our students and the community. I will continue to focus on creating environments where every student feels a sense of belonging on our campuses, and that will allow us to contribute to their educational journey.”

Bandyopadhyay has experience in leading multiple community college districts in California. While serving as college president in a few districts including two colleges in the Yosemite Community College District. Since earlier this year, he has been serving as the interim president at Woodland College. Bandyopadhyay has been involved in leading national initiatives such as “Achieving the Dream” and “Survey of Entering Student Engagement.”

Carlos Cortez recently led the seventh largest community college district in the U.S., San Diego Community College District as chancellor. He oversaw 10 campuses, managed a $1 billion budget and the reopening of 10 campuses following the pandemic. Cortez previously served as college president of San Diego College of Continuing Education. He was embroiled in a Twitter controversy after being accused of blocking a professor on the platform and “censoring” speech, according to First Amendment watchdog group FIRE. Others, however, have praised his dedication to the students, faculty, and developing innovative programs in these positions.

Forums were held on Monday Nov. 6, 2023, at the district office. Each finalist had an hour to speak. It was also encouraged for the district-wide community to attend, but due to technical difficulties during the recording process, district staff announced that they won’t be able to upload the forums on the website. 

The Governing Board will vote on the acceptance of Mehdizadeh’s contract at their regularly scheduled meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023.


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Brenda Maldonado, Editor in Chief

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