Tuesday, October 27, 2020

California Community College 2020 CEO Tenure and Retention Study Finds Highest Number of Women Leaders in State's History

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, the Community College League of California (League) releases the CEO Tenure & Retention Study, 9th Update, a biennial report providing an overview of chancellor, superintendent/president, and college president tenure rates and an analysis of demographic trends spanning the history of the California Community Colleges. The report observes a continuing move toward a more equitable gender balance, with 59 out of 139 California Community College (CCC) chancellor or president positions held by women in April 2020—marking the largest recorded number in the history of the system. Moreover, four of the five longest-serving CEOs are women. Additionally, the study finds that CCC CEO racial and ethnic diversity is greater than the national average, especially among its Latinx executive leadership. Regarding longevity, in the last 10 years the average tenure of a permanent CEO was 5.1 years and of those exiting their position 46.1 percent retired or passed away in office, 21 percent were either released or left for other reasons and 31.1 percent took another position.

The League launched the CEO Tenure & Retention Study in 1995 to track CCC CEO tenure rates and to understand the trends and implications of turnover and retention. Since the initial study 25 years ago, the League regularly contacts districts for leadership changes and monitors news releases and board announcements for shifts in CEO service. With continuing interest in CEO retention, the League issues a biennial update of this study while maintaining a comprehensive database of names and dates of employment for every CCC CEO.

"It's noteworthy that of the three sectors of public higher education in the state, our community colleges have the largest percentage of women leaders, and that women have held four of the five longest CEO tenures as well. College CEO tenure length is correlated with greater organizational and financial stability, although this is a remarkably challenging time for any higher education leader regardless of experience and time at the college," said Larry Galizio, President and CEO of the Community College League of California.

The 9th Update is the second version of the study to feature a dynamic dashboard with visual representations of over 100 years of CCC chief executive officer tenure data. The dashboard is an interactive infographic that allows users to filter data to observe changes across time among different regions, districts, colleges, and individual executives, stratified by gender and ethnicity. The League’s CEO Tenure & Retention Study and dashboard can be found at: www.ccleague.org/CEOtenure. To read the 9th Update, click here.

For a summary of the report's findings join the League for a webinar on Tuesday, October 27th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The webinar will include a panel discussion with three California Community College CEOs. Speakers will include:

  • Larry Galizio, Ph.D., President & CEO, Community College League of California
  • Constance Carroll, Chancellor, San Diego Community College District
  • Jose Fierro, President, Cerritos College
  • Tawny Dotson, President, Yuba College

Zoom Meeting Details
Telephone Number: (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 623 780 059
Password: 550660
Click Here to Register


The Community College League of California (League), whose vision is Quality Public Community Colleges for All Californians, is a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a voluntary membership of the 73 local community college districts in California. The League promotes student access and success by strengthening colleges through advocacy, policy development, leadership development, and district services. Visit our website at www.ccleague.org.