MENDOCINO COLLEGE PRESIDENT REYES SELECTED TO LEAD RIO HONDO COLLEGE
Mendocino College Superintendent/President Dr. Arturo Reyes will soon be leaving his post after over six years of service to the District. He has been appointed as the tenth Superintendent/President at the Rio Hondo Community College District in Los Angeles County, pending approval of a contract in July.
Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board President Robert Pinoli stated, “The pending departure of our superintendent/president will leave a giant void, so many good things have come from his six years with us.” Under his guidance, Mendocino College has made critical institutional changes to meet the needs of all students while maintaining strong enrollments. The college doubled the number of full-time counseling faculty; increased high school concurrent/dual enrollment; created a career center, a Veteran’s center, and a dreamer center; increased annual grant funds; celebrated the opening of two centers, acquired the coast territory and Fort Bragg Coast Education Center; augmented ESL offerings; grew the EOPS program. and expanded the MESA program.
Recognizing our service area has the third highest number of tribes in California and fourth highest in the nation, he initiated a highly successful culturally appropriate Native American first-year transfer learning community on the Coyote Valley reservation. Also among his accomplishments are improved relations with K-12 districts and community organizations, significant growth in state and federal grant monies, the creation of a middle college in partnership with Ukiah Unified School District, and a successful effort to create a more equity-minded, inclusive culture at Mendocino College. President Reyes also increased professional development spending for faculty, staff, and managers while providing financial stability and maintaining a 20% general fund reserve.
Trustee David Geck commented, “President Reyes’ unwavering focus on ensuring success for all students and creating an all-inclusive institution has been unrivaled. He provided the vision and energy needed to move the district in the direction it needed to go so it could serve all students. His ability to bring on staff that were focused on student success, utilize grants and resources, and his strategic focus to reach out to different populations in our community leave us very well positioned as a college to continue to serve our students and help them reach their educational goals.”
Long time tenured Math faculty member Deborah White stated, “I want to wish Arturo well in this next phase of his life, and I want to thank him for his work here. The Latinx and the Native communities are major players now, as they should be. Under his leadership Mendocino College became a Hispanic Serving Institution, and Mendocino College now accurately reflects our community's demographics, which was not the case when he started. Also, Arturo led the way in the reform of our math curriculum to remove an unnecessary stumbling block from our students' paths, enabling many of those who had originally struggled to succeed in a transferable math course.”
Classified Senate President Elect Jeana Thompson added, “Since coming to Mendocino College, Dr. Reyes has made it a priority to develop more opportunities for classified staff participation in professional development activities. Under his leadership, equity work was expanded to include work with our classified staff, making it the first institution the Center for Urban Education has contracted with that devoted workshops specifically for classified staff. As the incoming Classified Senate President, I am sad to see Dr. Reyes go, but am looking forward to building upon the work he has already initiated and continuing to make Mendocino College an excellent choice for higher education in our region.”
“On behalf of the faculty, I wish Dr. Reyes well as he moves on to a larger community college district. Colleges across the state have been challenged with how to best serve students while addressing numerous legislative regulations and new programs. During Dr. Reyes' tenure, Mendocino College has made significant advancements on the implementation of Guided Pathways, online education initiatives, math and English acceleration, and the implementation of AB 705 to ensure students complete transfer level math and English courses. Under his leadership, our student population has increasingly represented the diversity of our community and we have continued to focus on equity and social justice for our students, faculty and staff,” wrote Academic Senate President Catherine Indermill.
“As a business leader I’ve never felt sad when someone leaves to better their life. Today’s announcement by Dr. Reyes to depart Mendocino College is bittersweet. Bitter because he’s done so much in the areas of equity and diversity. He has brought segments of our community together when in the past they were left on the sidelines. Sweet because his new role is one for growth and professional advancement,” added Pinoli.
The Mendocino-Lake Community College Board of Trustees will be meeting soon to discuss a plan of action to replace Reyes upon his departure.