Article - Office of College Advancement

Three in running for Ohlone College top job

President, superintendent candidates to take part in open forum Monday

By Todd R. Brown, Staff writer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Fremont—One of three people soon may be named the next Ohlone College president and superintendent, including current College of Alameda President Cecilia Cervantes.

The other candidates are Gari Browning, vice president of instruction for College of the Desert in the Palm Springs area; and Laurence Spraggs, president of Broom Community College in upstate New York.

Cervantes was an associate vice president in the El Paso Community College District before taking her current job. She tried unsuccessfully in 2006 to become president of Canada College in Redwood City.

In a previous interview, the Texas native said she had wanted to move to Northern California for years. She came to College of Alameda in 2002 with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Browning, 59, said she worked for a time in Santa Rosa as associate director of the commission that accredits western U.S. junior colleges, including Ohlone, which is going through the process now.

"What I see with Ohlone College is a real dedication to the students and their learning and success," she said Monday. "That's the kind of college I want to lead."

She earned a doctorate in applied linguistics from UCLA and is fluent in Spanish. She has been at her current position five years and said she also is looking at jobs in the Los Angeles area, where she is from.

Spraggs, 60, has sought a variety of jobs of late. This week he reportedly was set to interview to be president of Monroe Community College in New York. He also recently threw his hat in the ring to lead Manatee Community College in Florida.

Last month, he lost a bid to become president of a Detroit-area junior college, which instead went with an internal candidate.

He has a doctorate in biology from Idaho State University.

Ohlone officials announced the names of the finalists on Monday; only Browning could be reached immediately.

Open-campus forums with the candidates are planned at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. Monday in Classroom 2133 onthe Fremont campus. The finalists will be interviewed the next day by the board of trustees.

"We are extremely pleased with the high caliber of candidates that applied to be president," board President Garrett Yee said in a statement. "Ohlone College has a great reputation as an academic institution."

Current President and Superintendent Douglas Treadway is set to retire from Ohlone in June after five years at the helm.

Watch a Webcast of the candidate forums Monday at

Reach staff writer Todd R. Brown at 510-353-7004 or

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