Edward J. Valeau, president/superintendent of the Hartnell Community College District in Salinas, Calif., has received a prestigious statewide award for his leadership and achievements.
He was presented with the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award at the 31st annual conference of the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA) held recently in Glendale, Calif.
ACCCA - a statewide organization representing administrators and managers of California's 109 community colleges - presents the Buttimer award annually. It recognizes community college CEOs for demonstrating integrity, high principles, compassion, strength in leadership, and contributions to colleagues, the profession, their college and community.
The award is named after the former chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District, located in the East Bay.
Valeau has had a 33-year career in California community college education. CEO of Hartnell College since 1995, he spearheaded the college's successful $131 million bond initiative in 2002 that is bringing the campus into the 21st century.
During his tenure, the college has received more than $23 million in grants from the public and private sectors, and has won numerous awards for its academic and occupational education programs.
The college also has become the 16th ranked community college nationwide for graduating the highest number of Hispanic students, and a recent study indicates that Hartnell is among the top 20 community colleges in California for faculty and staff diversity.
Commenting on Valeau's award, Mark Drummond, chancellor of California's system of community colleges, said Valeau "exemplifies the best of traits and motivation among college leaders."
Valeau was nominated for the award by Stan Arterberry, chancellor of the West Valley-Mission Community College District in Silicon Valley, and Frances L. White, superintendent/president of the College of Marin in Marin County. He also received a large number of additional letters of support for his nomination from other state and national CEOs as well as recommendations from educators in India and the Philippines.
In her letter of nomination, White called Valeau "a model of commitment, dedication and passion for the community college mission while serving as an advocate for educational quality and administrative excellence. To all who know him, he is true to his beliefs and values."
She also noted that recently on the national front, Valeau garnered thousands of dollars for Katrina hurricane victims by encouraging and motivating his CEO colleagues to support the cause.
Arterberry said Valeau "is a man of integrity, high principles and compassion - qualities that are reflected and demonstrated in his strength of leadership. . . . A longtime advocate of international/intercultural education, Dr. Valeau is leading his staff in finding new ways that global education can vitalize the curriculum."