Ventura College President Greg Gillespie will become the next chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District, succeeding Bernard Luskin.
Gillespie, who takes over on July 1, will oversee the Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark college campuses, leading the largest system in the tri-county region with some 31,000 students. His appointment comes at a time when Ventura County is looking increasingly to its community colleges for skilled workforce training.
The announcement was made the evening of April 11 by district Board of Trustees Chair Bernardo Perez.
“These searches are always a challenge,” Perez said in a statement, adding that the district had entered into negotiations with another candidate but reversed course quickly and unanimously selected Gillespie.
With Gillespie, the district gets a proven leader at the community college level with more than 23 years of experience in higher education. Prior to joining Ventura College in 2013, he was vice president for instruction and student services at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona.
In a recent question and answer session with the Business Times, Gillespie described the importance of Ventura College’s certificate programs and its focus on developing partnerships with employers that lead from the classroom to careers.
Luskin is widely credited with running the district with a steady hand during a time of budget cuts and the development of new programs. He served as interim presidents of both Oxnard and Moorpark colleges before being named district chancellor in 2015. He announced his plans to retire earlier this year.
Gillespie earned graduate degrees from North Dakota State University in crop science. He and his wife Kristin live in Ventura.