One president from three candidates

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The San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to confirm the selection of Dr. Jeff Marsee as the new president/superintendent of the campus.

Marsee was chosen from a pool of three candidates to replace Dr. Raul Rodriguez, who resigned last spring to become chancellor at Rancho Santiago Community College District in Orange County.

“Dr. Jeff Marsee has experience and command how to run a college,” said board member C. Jennet Stebbins, who added that Marsee was “very approachable.”
Board member Steve Castellanos said Marsee is “the best candidate at this time.”

Marsee signed a three-year contract at $235,768 a year.

He leaves his current position president/superintendent of the College of the Redwoods in Eureka to begin at Delta on May 1.

Dr. Kevin Walthers, one of three finalists for the president/superintendent position, speaks at a Feb. 15 forum. PHOTO BY: SEAN REILLY
Dr. Kimberly Perry, one of three finalists for the president/superintendent position, speaks at a Feb. 15 forum. PHOTO BY: SEAN REILLY

He comes to Delta amid controversy, which he touched on last week at a forum involving all three presidential candidates inside the Tillie Lewis Theatre.

A 2010 story in The Journal, a Humboldt County alternative weekly newspaper, included quotes from campus staff at College of the Redwoods decrying his leadership, saying Marsee created a “hostile” environment for staff, according to the story.

In the forum last week, Marsee took responsibility for not having conversations with the California State Employees Association specifically.

He also addressed his plans for Delta at the forum.

“I would get to know the employees and see where their talents are located, and spend time in the community,” Marsee said.

Marsee, 61, was hired after a six-month search for president.

The administration announced a forum featuring Marsee, Dr. Kevin G. Walther’s, vice chancellor for administration for the West Virginia Community and Technical College system and West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Dr. Kimberly Perry, vice president of academic affairs at Los Angeles City College.

All three spoke to a small crowd and answered questions from the audience on subjects ranging from the budget to veteran’s affairs to cafeteria hours.

The board voted unanimously to approve Marsee a week later.

“I plan to be at Delta College until I retire,” said Marsee last week.

Marsee was previously a vice president of administrative serves at El Camino College in Torrance. He’s also worked in academic affairs and has taught as an adjunct and full time faculty member at the community and four-year college levels.

He was hired at College of the Redwoods in 2008.

Dr. Susan Cota has served in an interim position as president/superintendent since August 2010.