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President Edward J. Valeau Announces Retirement from Hartnell College

March 9th, 2007

Dr. Edward J. Valeau announced his retirement today after 12 years as President and Superintendent of Hartnell College. He is one of the longest-serving community college presidents in California. His retirement is effective on June 30, 2007, according to the terms of an agreement reached at a special March meeting of the Hartnell Board of Trustees on Friday.

Dr. Valeau began his career as a Junior High School English teacher and has continued as an educator for 40 years, teaching high school English and serving as a multicultural education consultant, assistant dean and dean of instruction, dean of language arts and learning resources, and various other leadership capacities before becoming a college president in 1995. He has worked at Skyline Community College and the College of Alameda, and was an American Council on Education Fellow at DeAnza College. He also has been honored as an education fellow at Cal State University, Monterey Bay.

Under Dr. Valeauís leadership, Hartnell has become one of the leading Hispanic Serving Institutions in the nation, sensitively meeting the needs of the students of the Salinas Valley, nearly half of whom are the first in their families to attend college. He has led Hartnell to become the 16th ranked community college nationwide for graduating the highest number of Hispanic students. Hartnell is among the top 20 community colleges in the state for faculty and staff diversity.

Dr. Valeau is credited with being the architect of the collegeís first Educational Facilities Master Plan.

Dr. Valeau was an integral member of the "Yes on Measure H" initiative that passed with more than 60 percent of the vote in the fall of 2002, amounting to $131 million, in addition to more than $20 million in state and federal grants. This more than $151 million represents the largest infusion of capital in the history of the college.

As a result, he has led a building and facilities renaissance at the college that began with the completion of the high-tech library and learning resource center and the modern parking structure and will continue with the Center for Assessment and Lifelong Learning scheduled for groundbreaking on the main campus this spring, and a $23 million applied technology building on the East Campus, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2010. He also spearheaded the creation of the King City Education Center, now serving more than 1,800 students nearing its fifth year anniversary.

On the international front, Dr. Valeau was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2003 and visited India and Nepal to learn more about the countriesí educational, cultural, and agricultural traditions. Hartnell now has international agreements with a number of countries, most recently with Guanajuato, Mexico.

His impact on education has reached far beyond Hartnell, serving, as he has, on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges, as a commissioner of the American Council on Educationís International Education Commission, and as the president of the California Colleges for International Education, among many others.

Dr. Valeau is looking forward to pursuing speaking and writing opportunities, including writing a book on international education and his Fulbright Scholar experiences, and to spending more time with his family.

"Hartnell is positioned to continue its excellent reputation for serving students," said Valeau. "With the community stepping forward to pass Measure H and, more recently, to support all of our building and programmatic efforts, I am confident that the good work being done at Hartnell will continue and exceed all of our expectations."

"I have enjoyed the honor of being trusted to lead the institution with the support of an outstanding cast of Hartnell administrators, board, faculty, and staff," he said.

Board chair Aaron Johnson said that the board accepted Dr. Valeauís decision to retire after 12 years of dedicated service.

"A transition team is in place, and we will work to ensure a smooth transition in leadership so that the students will continue to be served," Johnson said. "I am encouraged on behalf of the District that we have mutually reached a retirement agreement. We will use this opportunity to find someone who we can only hope will match the last 12 years of visionary, energetic, forward-moving leadership. I am confident that we will find that person."

For more information, please contact The President's Office on Monday morning, (831) 755-6900