Dr. Ronald D. Kraft has been named interim Superintendent/President of Napa Valley College effective Aug. 1. The action was taken at the College Board of Trustees meeting on July 24.
The college trustees also voted on a timeline for the search process for the permanent position with the goal of having a new president assume duties July 1, 2013.
Dr. Kraft has more than 20 years of experience in higher education leadership. He earned his doctorate in higher education leadership from Capella University in Minnesota with a dissertation on “A Leadership View of Strategic Planning in the Community College.” His master’s degree is in Career and Technical Education with a B.A. in Business both from San Diego State University. He is a graduate of Grossmont Community College in El Cajon.
Dr. Kraft has served as the President/CEO of MAAS Companies, a management and consulting company devoted to California Community Colleges; President/CEO of Southern California University of Health Sciences, a WASC accredited university in Whittier, and CEO/President of the Alliance for Corporate Education, a pioneering agency of the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges. He was also employed at a community college in Virginia. His roots are in California Community Colleges with a background in teaching, among other positions, and with long service on the governing board of Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. He also has extensive experience on college and community foundations.
Dr. Kraft makes his home in Laguna Beach and will be relocating to Napa.
“I am pleased to accept this position at Napa Valley College,” Dr. Kraft said. “Napa Valley College has an outstanding national reputation, and excellent and dedicated faculty and staff. I am looking forward to serving at Napa Valley College and getting to know the Napa community.”
Armond Phillips has been acting president since the departure of Dr. Edna Baehre-Kolovani, who left to assume the presidency of Tidewater Community College in Virginia.
Following the meeting, NVC Board chairperson Michael Baldini, on behalf of the board of trustees, said he welcomes Dr. Kraft to Napa and to the Napa Valley College community. “Dr. Kraft brings a tremendous skill set and extensive experience in community college leadership, and technical and vocational aspects of community colleges. We appreciate his experience with community outreach. His experience, including his service on a college board of trustees and as a faculty member, makes him an outstanding choice to serve Napa Valley College during this transition time. His continuing to teach indicates a deep commitment to serving students and his focus on student success.” He continued, “Our board has the deepest confidence in his holistic leadership and management style.”
Baldini also said the board wishes to express deep appreciation to Armond Phillips for his leadership, especially given the budget challenges the college is facing. “We are grateful to Armond Phillips, and to the faculty, administrative and classified staff members of Napa Valley College who have stepped up during this challenging time and who continue to work hard for our students.”
The college had hired a consulting firm, Professional Personnel Leasing, Inc. (PPL) to identify candidates for the interim position and also to facilitate the search for a permanent president. Representatives of the firm attended the meeting to discuss the extensive process of recruiting and hiring a new president.
All campus constituent groups and community representatives will participate in the process.