Sierra College president to retire in 2011 |

Sierra College president to retire in 2011

Kyle Magin
Sun News Service
Leo Chavez.

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; After four years at the helm of Sierra College, Leo Chavez has announced he will retire.

and#8220;I wish I could give you a simple reason for my decision, but there are many, some simple and some complicated, so all I will say is that it is time,and#8221; Chavez said in a letter to college staff late last week. The decision is not a negative one, he added.

Chavez, a 35-year veteran of public education and Sierra College president since 2006, set a retirement date of June 30, 2011. He declined to comment for this article through representatives at the college.

and#8220;Thereand#8217;s a sadness for the college because heand#8217;s been such a great leader,and#8221; said Trustee Dave Ferrari, who represents Tahoe and Truckee on the collegeand#8217;s board. and#8220;Itand#8217;s certainly not unexpected, I think when we brought him in we knew at some point in the next few years heand#8217;d be retiring. Itand#8217;s a pretty demanding job, and I would think Leo would say of his whole career the last few years have been the most demanding.and#8221;

After earning a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan, Chavez taught history at San Jose City College, served as president of West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif., and chancellor of Foothill-De Anza College in Los Altos Hills, Calif., before his tenure at Sierra College, according to his official biography.

and#8220;Leo has been a remarkable leader for Sierra College, and I will greatly miss his leadership and wisdom,and#8221; said Sierra College Board Trustee Aaron Klein, who represents parts of western Nevada County. and#8220;He has done everything the board has asked him to do and deserves immense credit for setting Sierra College on a fiscally sustainable path.and#8221;

The collegeand#8217;s next president will need to be a good communicator, Ferrari said. The job will offer hurdles, Klein said.

and#8220;Our next president will face a number of challenges as we prepare to serve a growing population, replace critical facilities and innovate how we deliver education so we can serve more people with the same resources,and#8221; Klein said.

Some 22,000 students attend Sierra Collegeand#8217;s campuses in Grass Valley, Truckee, Roseville and Rocklin, according to the college. The Sierra College district spans parts of four counties and has a budget of about $92 million annually.