The West Hills Community College District (WHCCD) announced finalists in its West Hills College Coalinga President Search. Students, faculty, staff, and the community are invited to meet the four finalists during open forums on December 1, 2021.
Finalists are Dr. Robert Frost, Self Employed Education Consultant; Dr. Luca E. Lewis, Vice President for Student Services – Whatcom Community College; Dr. Gregory South, Interim Dean of Instruction – North Idaho College; and Dr. Carla Tweed, Executive Vice President – Yuba College.
Each finalist will have one hour to present their vision for the college and to answer questions from audience members. All attendees will be required to wear face coverings and adhere to the College’s C-19 protocols. The forums will be recorded and posted to the Presidential Search website at https://www.westhillscollege.com/coalinga/president-search/
Meet the Finalists
Dr. Carla Tweed has more than 20 years of increasing leadership experience in K-12, private vocational/workforce, and community college settings. She has spent the last fifteen years in post-secondary education. Currently, she serves as the Executive Vice President at Yuba College, providing leadership to support a vision to increase student success and elevate our community. Dr. Tweed joined the California Community College System in 2016 as the Dean of Arts and Education for Yuba College. This role included responsibility for academic programs in addition to instructional and student service support areas such as the Child Development Center, Library, tutoring, and distance education units. She has also served Yuba College as Dean of Applied Academics (Career Technical Education) and Acting President.
Dr. Tweed’s previous roles at San Joaquin Valley College (SJVC) as full-time faculty, instructional coach, Dean of Instruction, and then President of the SJVC Modesto Campus provided an opportunity to understand a student population that is often underserved. As the Modesto Campus President, she led the campus to increase student graduation and job placement.
Dr. Tweed is a Central Valley native and first-generation college graduate. She proudly started her higher education journey at West Hills College, leading to her successful transfer to Brandman University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, Master of Arts in Education (Curriculum and Instruction), and a Doctorate in Education (EdD) in Organizational Development. She prides herself as a fierce advocate for students and a community connector who establishes collaborative relationships to build bridges to higher education.
Dr. South has 30+ years of progressive responsibility in higher education and 15+ years of executive/senior administrative experience. He has served as Board appointed acting President/Superintendent, eight years of experience as a Vice President, along with eight years of experience served as a Dean at four different institutions, as an Instructor and Coach at four community colleges, two Research I Land Grant institutions and a military college. He has served as the Chief Instructional Officer (CIO), which included responsibility for all aspects of instruction, while additionally serving as the institution’s Chief Student Services Officer (CSSO) with responsibility encompassing most areas of student services. Dr. South’s academic preparation includes a Ph.D. in Education, with a specific emphasis in Performance, Leadership and Sports Psychology from the University of Idaho. His research interest and publications has been primarily in the leadership development and performance psychology areas. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Management in Leadership in Education (MLE) program, and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Rockefeller funded Future Leaders-Advanced Institute (FLI-A). To refresh his currency on the California community colleges, in 2012 Dr. South also attended the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA) Administration 101 program. Other community college involvement includes serving as the campus representative for the ACCA, membership in the Chief Instructional Officer (CIO) and Chief Student Services Officer (CSSSO) organizations in several States, membership as the acting President in the California Community College Chief Executive Officer (CCCCEO) organization and participation in the Community College League of California (CCLC) annual functions. Moreover, Dr. South’s own academic and life evolution began with community college. As a graduate of a California community college, he possesses a keen understanding of the significant role California community colleges play in providing access to the higher education system. Dr. South’s motto is, “It’s All About the Students,” and is passionate about their success and goal completion. Dr. South also believes that a college’s greatest resources is its people, its family. He is looking forward to meeting everyone, finding out where their passions lie, and how to help them move forward professionally. Dr. South grew up in the central valley, speaks Spanish, and considers this area home. Regarding this position, Dr. South adds, “West Hills College Coalinga is at an interesting and opportune time in its evolution. Recent District decentralization of operations combined with the solid foundation of unique and recognized programs of distinction, an outstanding passionate and engaged faculty, West Hills College Coalinga is positioned well for unprecedented growth and prosperity. I am excited about the opportunity to serve as your President, become part of the community, and unleash the college’s potential.” Dr. South is a proud father, loves spending time with his family, friends, and enjoys the outdoors, sailing, biking and tennis.
Luca is nationally recognized as a collaborative and inclusive leader who positions students, employees, and communities for growth and success. His work is deeply committed to and informed by social justice, multicultural competence, and global perspectives working with campus and community stakeholders to advance and navigate leadership, organizational development, accreditation, strategic planning, and solution-focused decision-making. Luca has propelled culturally inclusive strategies and practices with community colleges at the local and national level. He has significant experience in strengthening institutional outcomes for communities with intersecting identities including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, religion, disability, LGBTQIA+, veterans, and eliminating barriers to access and success for learners and earners.
With over 20 years of leadership experience, Luca possess a distinguished reputation in cultivating partnerships and helping institutions leverage strengths and opportunities to better serve diverse students. Luca has served as the Vice President for Student Services at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington since July 2015. Prior to Whatcom Community College, he was the Dean for Student Success and Retention at Edmonds Community College, and Director for High School Programs at Bellevue College. He entered the community college system as adjunct faculty in sociology in 2006, teaching at various institutions in the Seattle area before formally pursuing a leadership pathway in community colleges. Prior to his experience with community colleges, he worked in various instructional and education leadership capacities for the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, University of Washington Tacoma, Washington State University, and the University Idaho.
Luca holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies, a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and a doctorate Education/Higher Education Administration with a cognate in Adult and Organizational Learning and emphasis in Health and Safety—all from the University of Idaho.
Dr. Robert “Rob” Frost has worked in education since 1989. Serving both as director of international education, and professor of Latin American Studies and Spanish, he worked in St. Louis, Missouri, and Illinois colleges for 16 years. Since moving west Rob has served in several roles including dean, vice president and rural college president. Most recently Rob served as a campus dean at City College San Francisco 2016-19, and then on an interim basis as a school dean of Business and Applied Technologies for Chaffey College.
Dr. Frost holds the Ph.D. in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and has written numerous articles, reports and training materials pertaining to rural colleges, resource development, and international/intercultural programs. He is a frequent speaker in higher education forums and considers himself a lifelong learner and “devoted student of the community college.”
Rob enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends as well as Toby Jake, his nine-year-old shepherd. Playing music, woodworking and home projects are among his favorite hobbies.