Presidential Search

Mendocino College has narrowed its search for the next Superintendent/President to the top four candidates. A 14 member search committee, appointed by the Board of Trustees, has been working with Community College Search Services on this search process since November 2019. Interviews with the committee were recently completed. On May 11 forums with each of the candidates were recorded and can be viewed below, along with candidate bios, and a link for the public to submit feedback to the Board of Trustees. The public is welcome to submit feedback via the online forms until Wednesday, May 13 at noon. The next step in the process will be interviews with the Board of Trustees. 

Eileen Cichocki

Eileen Cichocki’s 27-year career in California Community Colleges spans from student employee through Interim Superintendent/President. She has been serving as Interim Superintendent/President at Mendocino College since August 2019. She began working at Mendocino College in 2004 as Director of Fiscal Services with responsibilities focused on the college finances including budget and accounting. In 2014 she was promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Administrative Services, in which she provides leadership for the fiscal, human resources, facilities, child development center, and technology functions of the college. She collaborates daily with the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President of Student Services. Prior to coming to Mendocino College, Ms. Cichocki held various positions in fiscal services for 11 years at Santa Rosa Junior College. 

She is a proud graduate of the California Community College system, earning her Associate in Arts Degree at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her education also includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in city planning and a Master of Business Administration, both earned at Sonoma State University.

In addition to her experience and education, Ms. Cichocki has participated in professional development programs offered by the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA), the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) for California Community Colleges, and the Community College League of California (CCLC). Ms. Cichocki is a graduate of the Leadership Mendocino program. 

She currently serves as Vice President of the Northern California Community Colleges Self-Insurance Authority (NCCCSIA) and serves on the Mendocino Countywide Oversight Board to the Successor Agencies to the City Redevelopment Agencies.  She also is a member of the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Community Advisory Council and the Healthy Mendocino Advisory Council.

Ms. Cichocki's recorded forum can be viewed below. The public is invited to submit feedback to the Board of Trustees about Ms. Cichocki by completing the following online form:

Tim Karas

Tim Karas grew up in San Jose, California prior to it becoming Silicon Valley with fruit orchards and farms close to his family home. His parents are immigrants to California from post war Europe. His mother is a retired teacher’s aid and his father is a grocer.

Dr. Karas’ educational journey began as the first person in his family to attend college. An Associate Degree from West Valley College was an achievement to propel him forward to further higher educational benchmarks. His education continued with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Humboldt State University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. He completed his doctoral studies in the field of Educational Leadership at Fielding Graduate University in 2017.

Dr. Karas was appointed College of Alameda President in January 2017. He joined the College of Alameda (CoA) in July 2014 as Vice-President of Instruction. Prior to CoA, he was Dean of Liberal Studies and Language Arts (2009-2014) and Director of Library Services (2005-2009) at Mission College. Dr. Karas was a tenured faculty member at the College of San Mateo. As a faculty member he participated on multiple committees including the Academic Senate, Curriculum Committee, Technology Advisory Committee, and College Council. Previous to working in academia, he worked as a librarian for the City of Palo Alto and Redwood City.

During the past 15 years he has served on eight accreditation site visit teams. He served as Executive Board President of the Council of Chief Librarians: California Community Colleges and was an Executive Board Member (2008-2014).

Dr. Karas believes education is a transformational experience for individuals and communities. He has worked to imbed community college education intuitions into the fabric of the community. Community colleges are economic development powerhouses for counties, cities, neighborhoods, and individuals.

In Alameda, Dr. Karas serves on the board of directors for the Alameda Chamber of Commerce, Alameda Family Services; serves of the mayor’s economic development taskforce; and participates in the local Rotary Club.

Dr. Karas has served on many civic committees and commissions, including the City of San Jose Library Commission, Bond and Parcel Tax Citizen Oversight Committees, and Santa Clara County Sister County Commission. Karas co-authored a chapter in the book Campus Partnership in Small Academic Libraries: Challenges and Rewards.

Dr. Karas' recorded forum can be viewed below. The public is invited to submit feedback to the Board of Trustees about Dr. Karas' by completing the following online form:

Greg Nelson

From his days as a young boy watching his father teach in a community college, Mr. Nelson has been immersed in higher education from a young age. He has 20 years of experience at the 2-year college level in meeting the needs of the vastly changing landscape of higher education.

Mr. Nelson began his career, like a lot of college students, with an internship that began at the Georgia General Assembly in 1999. He then went on to work as an analyst for the Technical College System of Georgia before leaving as the Assistant Director for Budget Services for all 34 colleges and 90 campuses. This experience led him to pursue the executive leadership at a college within the system. There he began his tenure in 2007 as a Vice President for Administrative Services at what is now Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. From that small rural college, he went on as Vice President for Administrative Services at West Georgia Technical College making up a total of 6 campuses.  As time went on he needed to move closer to family and began working for the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District as a Vice President of Administrative Services at San Jose City College in 2011, where he spent two years before coming to College of Marin.

As the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Administrative Services, Mr. Nelson is the Chief Business Officer for the college and has assumed several other responsibilities. During his seven years at College of Marin, the College has achieved a better financial position, passed a local bond measure to replace many out dated facilities, and began reviewing the needs for faculty and staff housing. He has helped raise resources for fundraisers, capital construction and has been funded for several sustainability projects. He thrives on the ability to help break down barriers for students trying to achieve their dreams of a college education.

Mr. Nelson has also been a part-time faculty member at various institutions for the last ten years. He has taught Business Math, Accounting, Project Management and Finance/Operations in Construction Management. He has been a long-time member of the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) and currently services on local zoning and planning boards.

Mr. Nelson was raised in Georgia where he lived on a rural family farm, eventually moving north of Atlanta and attended undergraduate school at Kennesaw State University where he earned his B.S. in Political Science with a minor in history. He went on to earn his MBA with a concentration in Public Administration from DeVry University in San Jose, California. He has also achieved several certificates in governmental accounting, project planning, and sustainability.

Mr. Nelson has a unique passion for sports, woodworking and helping others. He strives on the ability to erasing boundaries to work with anyone to achieve the organizational goals and objectives of an institution and ensuring that the needs of all students are met.

He currently lives in Sonoma County with his wife of 20 years, Maria, and their 4 children, Connor, Julia, Christopher and Jackson.  

Mr. Nelson's recorded forum can be viewed below. The public is invited to submit feedback to the Board of Trustees about Mr. Nelson by completing the following online form:

Richard Storti

Dr. Richard Storti has a broad range of experience in academia and private industry. He currently serves as Deputy Chancellor at West Hills CCD. Prior positions held with community colleges include Assistant Superintendent, Vice President of Business and Administrative Services at Pasadena City College and Vice President of Administrative Services at Fullerton College. Outside of academia, he worked as an auditor and held senior level leadership positions with reputable organizations in private industry.

Dr. Storti completed a doctorate in Education at the University of Southern California, M.S. in Accounting at CSU, Fullerton, and B.S. in Accounting at CSU, Long Beach. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

Dr. Storti has a passion for education and is dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of students and communities through education. He is known for his tenacity and perseverance, ability to build strategic partnerships and for his collaborative, transparent, inclusive, and personable leadership style with a student-centered focus.

Dr. Storti's recorded forum can be viewed below. The public is invited to submit feedback to the Board of Trustees about Dr. Storti by completing the following online form:

Click HERE for a full pdf printable version of the position profile.

The Position

The Governing Board of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District invites applications and nominations for the position of Superintendent/President.

The Board seeks a proven, enthusiastic, and visionary educational leader who will foster future growth of the district.  The Superintendent/President serves as Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Board of Trustees and reports directly to the Board which is comprised of seven elected members and a student representative. The primary responsibilities of the Superintendent/President are to ensure the success of the students of the Mendocino-Lake Community College District while inspiring confidence and trust throughout the College community and the District as well as being responsible for the overall administration of the District.


The next Superintendent/President will lead the District’s engaged and enthusiastic faculty and staff who are committed to equity and social justice providing a culturally responsive environment that provides outstanding educational opportunities for all students.


The College & Community

Mendocino-Lake Community College District includes the main Ukiah campus and three centers in Lakeport, Willits, and Fort Bragg serving over 6600 students in a District that encompasses the greater parts of Mendocino and Lake Counties. This single-college district with four main sites has a service area of 3,200 square miles with 51 towns and cities. The beautiful 127-acre main campus is situated among the oaks on a country hillside that overlooks the Ukiah Valley. Mendocino College serves a large Native American student population (over 5%) and the College is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The District, established in 1973, serves approximately 100,000 people including eight unified school districts.

Mendocino College is a two-year community college providing a comprehensive curriculum including unique educational programs in sustainable technology, agriculture, nursing, culinary and performing arts, as well as exceptional athletic programs.

The College serves as a major education and cultural resource for its communities, employing more than 400 classified, faculty and management personnel. The District has an exemplary, engaged faculty and staff committed to providing quality education and service to the students and the community. The team at Mendocino-Lake Community College District is an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice requiring broad collaboration among faculty, classified staff, administration, students and members of the community.


Mendocino College partners with Sonoma State University to offer courses on the College’s main campus to meet the post-secondary educational needs of the surrounding communities. The College is committed to meeting the educational and cultural needs of students and District residents and recognizes students as individuals with the right to diverse educational opportunities in an atmosphere that is intellectually, culturally, and socially stimulating.


Mendocino and Lake counties include some of Northern California’s most picturesque landscape. The counties are approximately two hours north of San Francisco or west of Sacramento and Mendocino College’s main campus in Ukiah is just an hour from the Northern California coast. The Mendocino-Lake County Community College District includes a large part of the Mendocino County coastline in its service area as well.


Our communities have a small-town feel with a comfortable, relaxed and friendly lifestyle. The area enjoys a wonderfully temperate climate coupled with family-oriented living, quality schools, unmatched recreational opportunities, and a reasonable cost of living.

Mendocino and Lake counties have a long and colorful history as premium grape-growing region within the state’s famous North Coast wine country and are considered an attractive spot for retirement and vacationing. Scenic forests, valleys, lakes, and mountains are descriptive of this large rural area including state parks and a national forest. Opportunities for outdoor recreation abound such as hiking, mountain biking, cycling, boating, water skiing, golfing and much more. The local area is also recognized for its vibrant arts community including visual arts, theater, music, and dance.



Mission & Vision


Mendocino College partners with a dynamic community of diverse students to help them achieve their educational goals. Informed by research, reflection and dialogue, the College offers programs in Basic Skills, Transfer Preparation and Career and Technical Education as well as Workforce Improvement. The College demonstrates its commitment to student success and achievement through high-quality and innovative instruction, providing individual attention to student needs in an inclusive and accessible learning environment, and providing services to students at all stages of their educational and/or career path. Mendocino College embraces its role as an intellectual, economic and cultural anchor for the region.




Mendocino College faculty, staff and students inspire each other to engage in quality educational experiences to achieve student success.

Within this partnership, all members share a mutual accountability for student success. Faculty and staff serve as the catalyst for students actively engaged in the learning process; students accept their responsibility to define their goals and to work actively toward them.


Desirable Personal and Professional Characteristics

The Board of Trustees and Search Committee will evaluate potential candidates for the Superintendent/President of Mendocino-Lake Community College District based on the following desirable characteristics:

  • A strong educational leader with a collaborative decision-making style based on participatory governance which seeks to empower others
  • A leader who possesses a proven ability to bring innovative approaches to challenges
  • A leader who possesses the ability to inspire, lead a complex organization and make a long-term commitment to the College and all those that are served by the Mendocino-Lake Community College District
  • An unwavering commitment and dedication to supporting and growing a culture of inclusion and diversity throughout the College community
  • A passion for the role and mission of community colleges—specifically, Mendocino College and an understanding of the key role the College plays throughout the community
  • An equity-minded educational leader who is sensitive to students’ needs and focuses on the holistic development of the student
  • A leader who is committed to identifying gaps in student outcomes on the basis of factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender, and then mobilizing the College to improve results
  • A Superintendent/President who can create an atmosphere of respect across all categories of employees and has proven commitment to participatory governance
  • A Superintendent/President who is willing to have and can facilitate courageous conversations
  • A student-centered leader that supports the comprehensive community college and understands the competing priorities of transfer, career technical education, college-readiness, basic skills, noncredit, dual enrollment, and community education; and understands the role of technology as it relates to all areas of the institution and its application to teaching and learning within the guided pathways framework
  • An inclusive leader who demonstrates positive leadership, flexibility and accessibility and is committed to and appreciates the importance of investing in the professional development of faculty and staff
  • A proven track record of successful senior management experience including sound business practices and financial management
  • An exceptional communicator, listener, and visible leader who inspires confidence and will seek out and value contributions from employees, students, and the community
  • A collaborative individual who believes in and supports traditional and non-traditional student organizations and activities
  • An individual willing to support the use of technology and new teaching methods to creatively address future workforce demands, as well as changing degree, certificate and program needs
  • The willingness and demonstrated ability to build external relationships with community partners, leaders, and citizens to promote Mendocino College and expand its visibility and place within the community
  • A comprehensive understanding of accreditation processes
  • The ability to develop and maintain relationships in collaboration with local and state elected officials, other community colleges, K-12 educators, and universities


Challenges & Opportunities

The Superintendent/President of Mendocino-Lake Community College District, will be expected to provide strong visionary leadership with a high degree of commitment and personal integrity to address the following over the next five to ten years:

  • Continue to build upon the College’s image and community relations through activities and partnerships with educational, civic, business organizations and underrepresented groups within the service area
  • Capitalize upon the unique educational, professional, and collegial culture at Mendocino College so as to continue building upon the tradition of excellence in service to students, the college community, and the Mendocino-Lake Community College District service area
  • Provide leadership in the changing world of educational pedagogy
  • An educational leader that considers the use of technology, accreditation standards, guided pathways, and student success issues
  • Be an equity-minded individual committed to collaborating with faculty, classified staff, administration, student and community partners who are also committed to closing equity gaps
  • Build upon the proven experience of participatory governance at Mendocino-Lake Community College District and the California Community College System, by strategically engaging all consultation groups—students, faculty, staff, and administration—early in the decision-making process
  • Propose strategies for hiring and retaining high quality, faculty, staff, and administrators, especially from under-represented groups. Provide District employees with the opportunity to successfully achieve high standards in their work
  • Provide leadership to the Mendocino College Foundation, Inc. and the enhancement of the resources available to the College
  • Provide leadership in managing enrollment in a small community college environment.
  • Propose strategies and provide leadership in strengthening the planning and resource allocation process
  • Continue the development of the programs and services at the three Centers to meet community needs


Minimum & Desirable Qualifications


  • A Master’s Degree from an accredited institution is required. The required degree must be completed at the time of filing an application.
  • Two years of successful senior administrative experience at the college level in instruction, student services, and/or business services is required.
  • A sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds of district faculty, staff and students.


  • Earned Doctorate from an accredited institution.
  • Teaching, student services or administrative services experience preferably at the postsecondary level.
  • Five years of experience in administrative positions with increasing levels of responsibility, preferably at the postsecondary level.

Application Procedure

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications after March 23, 2020; however, applications may be accepted until the position is filled. To be considered in the first reading, applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on March 20, 2020, PST.

In order to receive consideration applicants must submit a complete application consisting of the following:


  • A cover letter, preferably no more than five pages, which provides examples from background and experience and addresses the Desirable Characteristics in this position announcement;
  • A current resume of professional experience, educational background, and other pertinent information;
  • Transcripts of graduate course work (unofficial); and
  • A list of eight references, including two supervisors, two subordinates, two faculty (or equivalent), and two community members. Include telephone and email address for each.
  • A completed Mendocino College academic application can be downloaded at:

Applications are a fillable PDF format. Please download the application prior to completion. Should you experience any technical issues, please contact the HR Director at: (707) 468-3065 or via email at:


Submit all application materials to:

Human Resources
Mendocino College
1000 Hensley Creek Rd
Ukiah, CA 95482

Or via email to:


For confidential inquiries, contact:

Joan E. Smith, Ed.D.
Search Consultant
Community College Search Services
(209) 566-5421


For general inquiries regarding the application process, contact:

Nicole Marin, SHRM-CP
Director of Human Resources
Mendocino College
(707) 468-3065

Salary & Benefits

This is an executive position that offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Salary is to be negotiated with the Board of Trustees.


Selection Process

A screening committee representing the constituencies of the District will paper screen applications and select a limited number of candidates for an initial interview. Paper screening will begin in late March with initial interviews to be held in mid-April. Candidates selected for further consideration will be invited to interview with the Board of Trustees and participate in open campus forums. The successful candidate will be expected to be available for service within a mutually agreeable time (preferably no later than August 2020) after acceptance of an offer of employment; provide official transcripts of all higher education course work and verification of experience (if necessary) prior to the first day of duty.

Search Committee:

Robert Jason Pinoli - Trustee
Marie Myers – Trustee
John Tomkins – Trustee
Catherine Indermill - Academic Senate President & Professor of Psychology
Bart Rawlinson- Professor of English
Jeana Thompson – Classified Senate President & Administrative Assistant, Facilities Department
Mayra Sanchez- Classified Senate VP & Accounting Specialist
Janelle Meyers Bird – Management Team President & Director of Community Relations & Communication
Minerva Flores - Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Grants
Ulises Velasco - Vice President of Student Services
Debra Polak - Vice President of Academic Affairs
Tom Dow - Foundation Representative
Aidan Lagorio - Student Representative
Bill Pauli - Community Member
Nicole Marin - Director of Human Resources, Resource Member

EEO Statement

The Mendocino-Lake County Community College District is an Equal Opportunity Employer that seeks to employ individuals who represent the rich diversity of cultures, language groups, and abilities of the surrounding communities.