Embattled chancellor of Contra Costa Community College District resigns

Reece was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month for the second time in six months, only in position since Nov. 2020

Board promotes Executive Vice Chancellor to Interim Chancellor through June 2024 with $357,714 starting annual base salary

Two other administrators still on paid leave since last year

By Timothy Leong, 4CD Public Information Officer

Former 4CD Chancellor Dr. Bryan Reece. Source: 4CD

At their February 16, 2022, meeting, the Governing Board (Board) of the Contra Costa Community College District accepted the resignation of Dr. Bryan Reece, effective February 11, 2022. He began working for the District as the ninth permanent chancellor on November 1, 2020.

Reece was placed on paid administrative leave by a unanimous vote of the board during a closed session meeting earlier this month. It was the second time the board had done so, the first time occurring in September on a split vote of 3-0-1 with Area 5 Trustee Fernando Sandoval voting to abstain as he was attending the meeting via Zoom. (See related articles here and here)

In an email to faculty and staff, Jeffrey Michels, president of the United Faculty, wrote about the board’s decision to place Reece on paid leave for a second time.

“In the words of the Yankees’ Yogi Berra, ‘it’s like déjà vu all over again.’ Last week, with no public explanation besides citing ‘personnel matters,’ the District Governing Board voted unanimously to place Bryan Reece on ‘paid administrative leave,’ and they named Executive Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology Mojdeh Mehdizadeh acting chancellor.”

“Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on managers who don’t report to work certainly seems like a waste, but as we have noted in the past, these decisions are hard to evaluate since most of the facts are kept private,” Michels added

Mojdeh Mezhdizadeh. Photo: 4CD

He was also referring to two other senior administrators that are on paid administrative leave, placed there by Reece last year, Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration Eugene Huff and Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Dio Shipp. (See related article)

“The Governing Board and Dr. Reece have mutually decided to part ways,” said Governing Board President Dr. Judy E. Walters. “We thank Dr. Reece for his service to the District and wish him well as he relocates to Southern California to spend more time with his family.”

The Governing Board also approved a contract with Executive Vice Chancellor, Education and Technology, Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, to become the Interim Chancellor for the period of February 16, 2022, through June 30, 2024, at a starting annual base salary of $357,714. With more than 30 years of experience at the District, mostly in executive leadership roles, the Governing Board is confident Mojdeh provides the steady and stable leadership needed to help advance the District’s mission and vision.”

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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