Article - Office of College Advancement

SoCal college VP accepts top position at Ohlone

By Wes Bowers.

Friday, May 2, 2008—Reprinted from Fremont Bulletin.

Dr. Gari Browning.

Last September, Ohlone Community College administrators worried the search for a new president would not have the full attention from its Board of Trustees.

But within seven months, Ohlone's Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve offering a contract to Gari Browning, who accepted the proposal on April 23.

Browning will begin her new position July 1 as the college's first woman superintendent.

The contract offered to her by the board will give her a $207,000 annual salary, plus housing and transportation allowances.

The contract will last three years with a one-year option.

Garrett Yee, the Board of Trustees' president, said he and his colleagues were pleased with the number of candidates the selection committee presented.

"Any one of these candidates could have done a great job for Ohlone College," he said. "In the end, for (the board) it was a matter of fit for the college at this time. We were pleased with the candidates and we're pleased to be going forward with Dr. Browning. I think she'll do a great job for us."

Other candidates considered for the position were Laurence Spraggs from Broome Community College in Binghamton, N.Y., and Cecilia Cervantes from College of Alameda.

Browning is the vice president of instruction at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, Calif.

Browning grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, attended Cypress College and earned a bachelor's degree in linguistics from the University of California at Irvine.

She went on to earn a master's degree in teaching English as a ssecond language and a doctorate in applied linguistics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Soon afterward, Browning traveled to the Dominican Republic, where she taught at Universidad Cat lica Madre y Maestra in Santiago de los Caballeros.

She then moved on to Honolulu where she taught at the University of Hawaii.

Browning has participated on Statewide Academic Senate committees and many Chancellor's Office committees on topics such as the disciplines list for establishing minimum qualifications for faculty hiring, matriculation, assessment, high school graduation standards in English, remediation in California State Universities, and immigrant education.

Browning also served as president and other leadership positions for California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Additionally, she led a group of ESL experts to author "California Pathways: The Second Language Student in Public High Schools, Colleges, and Universities."

Browning has been an instructor in nearly every educational level, especially community college, as a professor and department chair of ESL at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. She also served as an institutional researcher and planner and a division dean at Orange Coast College.

Browning then became associate director at the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges/Western Association of Schools and Colleges, where she helped develop the current standards that include student learning outcomes.

She is finishing her fifth year as vice president, instruction at College of the Desert. Browning oversees all instructional programs, off-campus sites, contract and community education, learning initiatives, institutional research and planning, grants, program planning for capital outlay, accreditation, and instructional support services.

This week, Browning said she is thrilled to be coming to both Fremont and Ohlone College.

Although she hasn't spent a lot of time in the area, Browning said what she's seen so far has been beautiful. She added Ohlone's Fremont campus is marvelous, and that she's impressed with the Newark campus as well.

"I want to get up there and see how things work," she said, of the many goals she would like to achieve. "The accreditation report says the college is in good shape, and I want to make sure it stays on that track."

Browning said she thought the Ohlone faculty was a talented group of teachers, and wants to support them to be a creative body of educators.

"I'm anxious to get going, and I'm really excited about coming to Ohlone," she said.

Ohlone's current president, Douglas Treadway, announced in September he would retire from his post at the conclusion of the 2007-2008 school year.

Treadway assumed the president's role in 2003, and stated last year his retirement would coincide with the expiration of his contract.

Prior to this position, Treadway served nine years as the president/superintendent of Shasta College in Redding, Calif. He had also served as chancellor of the North Dakota University System, president of Southwest Minnesota State University and president of Western Montana State College.

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