New president begins tenure at Saddleback

Oh, so 40 and fabulous

Casha Cheema

Saddleback has appointed a new president. Dr. Tod Burnett was appointed as Saddleback College President by the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees, and Saddleback is anxious to see how his new appointment will benefit the school.

“The appointment of a president of Dr. Burnett’s caliber is critical to helping Saddleback College address the unique challenges in the competitive educational environment of the 21st century. He is an excellent choice who will bring innovation and resourcefulness in his approach to working with faculty, staff and students,” Chancellor Raghu P. Mathur said.

Burnett also has an impressive resume under his belt. He was a former adviser to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and played a role in appointing various state government positions.

Schwarzenegger then appointed him vice chancellor of the California Community College System in Sacramento, where he worked on the development of the state’s plan for community colleges. He is also the former Los Angeles Board of Public Works commissioner.

In addition, he also held the position of the director of state and local government relations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Despite his impressive skill set, Burnett has never worked at a community college campus before. It will be his job to oversee all operations of the school. Overcoming the current obstacles Saddleback faces could pose a potential challenge for Burnett.

Accreditation is a problem both Saddleback and Irvine Valley colleges, one they have repeatedly faced. In the past year, over ten colleges in California have been put on probation, or given a warning.

The ongoing tension between the Academic Senate and Board of Trustees is another problem that needs to be worked out.

Big man on campus

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