Los Rios trustees hire chancellor from Santa Cruz County

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3B

Santa Cruz County community college President Brian King said he is looking forward to joining the Los Rios Community College District as its newest chancellor and becoming an active member of the community.

King, 49, was named to a three-year appointment by Los Rios district trustees following a Monday night board meeting. King will earn a base salary of $267,500.

"I am really honored to lead such an outstanding district," said King, who will leave his post as president of Cabrillo College in Aptos.

King replaces Brice Harris, the longtime chancellor who retired Aug. 31 and became chancellor of the statewide community college system. Los Rios is the second-largest community college system in the state and enrolls more than 80,000 students at its four colleges – American River, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City.

"We've loved our time in Santa Cruz County," King said. "It took a special opportunity and Los Rios is that."

King has more than 20 years of community college teaching and administrative experience, beginning in 1991 at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Mo. He has been president of Cabrillo College, which has about 14,000 students, since 2004.

"We were looking for a person with exceptional leadership skills and broad community college experience," said Los Rios board President Ruth Scribner in a statement. "We found those qualities, combined with great personal integrity and a passion for student success, in Dr. King and we look forward to many years of his expert guidance at the helm of our district."

At Cabrillo College, King led the Aptos campus through two successful bond campaigns and raised more than $20 million in private donations through a college foundation. During his tenure, Cabrillo College led a countywide effort that brought together 14 school districts, the University of California, Santa Cruz, California State University, Monterey Bay, and San Jose State to improve college completion rates.

"It's an exciting collaborative that brought everyone together to improve the outcomes of our students," King said.

The terms of King's contract call for a lower overall compensation package than his predecessor. Harris was the highest-paid chancellor of the state's 15 largest community college districts in 2011, earning $390,000 in total compensation.

Harris' base pay was $278,000, plus an $89,000 bonus, $11,400 for a car allowance and $11,400 for expenses. Harris was also reimbursed for his employee contribution to CalSTRS (8 percent of total compensation).

Los Rios Community College spokeswoman Susie Williams said the terms of King's contract call for a base pay of $267,500, a combined annual auto and expense allowance of $15,600, health benefits and 5 percent in annual performance pay based on merit for the 2013-2014 school year.

King's contract does not reimburse him for his employee contribution to CalSTRS, Williams said. King is expected to begin Feb. 1.

King said he will be working to make a smooth transition at Cabrillo College, as well working with Los Rios to ensure he "hits the ground running."

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Read more articles by Melody Gutierrez

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