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3 new candidates for president of Las Positas College to make public presentations today

College district continues efforts to fill top post that's been vacant for a year

The search for a new president of Las Positas College is back on track with the announcement yesterday that three new "finalists" will be introduced this afternoon at a candidates' forum that will be open to the public.

Las Positas has been without a president since DeRionne Pollard resigned a year ago to become the president and CEO of Montgomery College in Maryland. Since then, Guy Lease, who has served as president of two colleges and as interim president for several others, has continued in that post at Las Positas until a president is chosen. Now retired, Lease said he has no interest in serving in the position full-time.

Joel L. Kinnamon, chancellor of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, said the three new finalists are Kindred Murillo, who now serves as the vice chancellor of Administrative Services for the Contra Costa Community College District; Barry Russell, vice chancellor of Academic Affairs for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's office, and Kevin Glen Walthers, vice chancellor for Administration of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

All three have doctorate degrees.

Thursdays' open-door presentations by the three new candidates come a few months after a similar forum where four earlier candidates elaborated on their credentials after having been chosen as finalists by a search committee at the college. One of those was hired by another college district shortly after the public meeting; the other three were rejected with Kinnamon and the college district board choosing to seek a new slate of candidates.

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Ina press release, Laura G. Weaver, director of public relations and governmental affairs for the college district, listed biographical sketches of the three new candidates in alphabetical order as follows:

Kindred Murillo began her higher education experience in 1996 when she was hired as a part-time faculty member, later to become full-time, at the Desert Community College District. She was promoted to Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services when Copper Mountain Community College became a separate district, overseeing fiscal services, budget, facilities, maintenance and operations, and technology services.

She also served as the Vice President of Administrative Services at the Pasadena Area Community College District. She has served on six visiting teams for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Hers experience outside higher education includes 13 years at Southern California Edison in several management positions, including area manager, employee relations manager and business offices regional manager. She also has held public office as the mayor and councilwoman for the Town of Yucca Valley, and became a field representative for the 3rd District Supervisor in San Bernardino County.

Murillo graduated from Barstow Community College with a liberal arts degree. She went on to complete her bachelor's degree in Business Administration at Redlands University, and master's in Organization Development at Pepperdine University, where she also recently completed her doctorate degree.

Barry Russell was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for the California Community Colleges Chancellor's office. A graduate of the Community College Leadership Program (1991) at the University of Texas at Austin, he also holds degrees in music from Texas A&M University -Commerce (previously East Texas State University).

Prior to becoming vice chancellor, Russell served as vice president of Instruction at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif. He also served as the dean of Fine Arts and Communication at Cerritos College and held the same position at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, before moving to Cerritos. He was director of the Central Texas Tech Prep Consortium and was a faculty member in music and computer science at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. He is active in both state and national community college organizations, serving as a member and officer on several boards.

In 2009, Russell was awarded the Instructional Leadership Award from the National Instructional Administrators, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges. In 2010, he was awarded the Carter Doran Leadership Award from the California Chief Instructional Officers of the California Community Colleges.

Kevin Glen Walthers is the vice chancellor for Administration for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. His duties include responsibility for the state's financial aid program, which includes the Higher Education Grant Program and the PROMISE Scholarship. Walthers also oversees the West Virginia Network for Educational Telecomputing, the state's educational technology provider to K-12 schools, colleges, and universities.

Prior to his time in West Virginia, Walthers served as vice president for Finance and Administrative Services at the College of Eastern Utah, which has its main campus in Price and another campus in Blanding, serving the Four Corners Region that includes Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. He initially went to the College of Eastern Utah on a temporary assignment stemming from his position with the Utah Commissioner of Higher Education. He has an extensive background as an educator with the K-12 system and as a policy leader through his work with the Utah state legislature.

Walthers attended Eastfield Community College in Mesquite, Texas and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master's of Educational Administration from Texas A&M University - Commerce, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah.

These three will appear at the President Candidate Forums from 1 to 4 p.m. next Thursday in Room 801 in Building 800 on the Las Positas College campus in Livermore. Murillo will lead off the forum at 1 p.m., with Walthers following at 2 p.m. and Russell at 3 p.m.

For more information, contact Laura Weaver (925) 485-5215.

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