Kristina Whalen will serve as Foothill College’s next president, effective March 31. A veteran educator with 25 years of experience in higher education, she is currently vice president of academic services at Las Positas College.

Whalen also serves in a statewide role as vice president of the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers Association and is involved regionally in leadership positions on several business, industry and education boards.

From 2005 to 2019, Whalen served at City College of San Francisco, advancing from faculty member, director of forensics and department chair, to student learning outcomes coordinator, dean and associate vice chancellor of instruction, enrollment management and instructional support services. Early in her career, she served as director of forensics and assistant professor at California State University, Chico.

“As someone deeply entwined in the Bay Area, I’ve witnessed firsthand that Foothill College is a haven for the community and a unique engine of economic opportunity for its residents,” said Whalen, a long-time resident of San Francisco. “I feel a profound connection to the college’s recognition that many students, even in pockets of affluence and innovation, do not easily experience socio-economic mobility.”

CEO retirement announcements

Stephen C. Head, who has served as chancellor of the Lone Star College (LSC) System for eight years, plans to retire effective August 1.

Head began his career with LSC in 1984 and has a 30-plus year history of high-level positions at the Texas college, including serving as president at three LSC campuses and executive vice chancellor. During his tenure, Head has focused on student access, equality, success and completion; academic quality; workforce programs in alignment with community needs; and collaborative agreements with educational, business and local civic organizations.

“Dr. Head’s legacy will be felt for generations to come,” said Michael Stoma, LSC board chair.

Head was appointed as the fourth chancellor of Lone Star College in 2014 after holding high-level positions at LSC, including president of Lone Star College-North Harris, president of LSC-Kingwood, executive vice chancellor and acting chief operating officer.

Head also currently serves on the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors and previously was on the executive committee for the Texas Association of Community Colleges. He is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences on community college issues. In 2016, Head was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to serve on the Texas Economic Development Council and a special Governor’s Committee for Safety and Security. In 2020, The Houston Business Journal named Head as one of its Most Admired CEO honorees.

Ray Hoy, president of Wor-Wic Community College, has announced that he plans to retire on June 30. He has led the Maryland college since 2000 and is just the second president in Wor-Wic’s 48-year history.

During Hoy’s 22-year tenure, Wor-Wic has added many academic and career programs — from communications to construction and culinary arts, and the college’s dual-enrollment programs — as well as new buildings to house them. He oversaw enrollment growth and a 132% increase in the number of graduates. Hoy was instrumental in efforts to make community college free, including establishing the Wicomico Economic Impact Scholarship and the Somerset Economic Impact Scholarship, both precursors to Maryland’s Community College Promise Scholarship, according to the college. Wor-Wic also has become an economic force in the community under Hoy, with the college making a $106.6 million economic impact. In addition, the college’s foundation resources have grown from $1.9 million to over $33 million.

Hoy came to Wor-Wic after 24 years of increasing administrative roles at Maryland’s Chesapeake College, where he also earned an associate degree.

Hoy has received numerous recognitions for his service, including the 2021 Chief Executive Officer Award – Northeast Region from the Association of Community College Trustees and the 2021 Hall of Fame Award from the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as its Visionary Leadership Award in 2014 and Chamber Award in 2011.

“Leading the college for more than 22 years, he has been at the helm during many great achievements and has helped navigate many challenges — including the Covid-19 pandemic — and he always led with an unwavering commitment to the students, faculty and staff,” said Kimberly C. Gillis, chair of the college’s board of trustees, adding, “To say that we will miss Dr. Hoy is quite an understatement, but we are incredibly grateful for his many years of service and proud of the legacy he will leave at Wor-Wic Community College.”

Steve Thomas, who has served as the fourth president of Midland College since 2008, plans to retire in August.

Thomas has led the Texas college in several milestones, such as early college high school, the College and Careers Academies with the local school district, a pre-kindergarten academy, two new bachelor-level degrees, the Texas A&M-Concho Engineering Academy, the Primary Care Pathway Program and a new enrollment management system that includes a guided pathways approach, according to the college.

Thomas also oversaw several new building projects, including renovations and upgrades to the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center and the new June and Frank Cowden, Jr. Dining Hall. Before he retires in August, two new capital projects will be completed — renovation of the Jack E. Brown Dining Hall into the Jack E. Brown Conference Hall and the new Pre-K Academy and Center for Teaching Excellence.

Thomas began teaching psychology at the college in 1976. In 1987, he was hired as a dean at Lexington Community College in Kentucky. He then served as chief instructional officer at Victoria College in Texas and later was president of Vernon College (Texas) before returning to Midland.


Gregory Adam Haile, president of Broward College in Florida, has been appointed deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s board of governors. He is the first public college president in this position.

His term as deputy chair began on January 1 and runs through December 31, 2024. Haile serves on the board’s executive committee alongside the chair, performing essential leadership and governance functions of the bank.

“The performance of our nation’s higher education institutions is an inextricable element of the performance of our nation’s economy. I have been privileged to advance the understanding of this intersection as a board member for the past two years, and am honored to advance my service in this increased capacity,” Haile said in a statement. “The opportunity to contribute my perspective to policy discussions that will impact the financial well-being of countless Americans is a responsibility that I will continue to handle with care.”

Federal Reserve member banks appoint Class A and B directors, while the Federal Reserve Board of Governors appoints Class C directors. The Reserve Bank’s chair and deputy chair must be Class C directors. Haile was appointed as a Class C director at the start of 2022.

Meghan Hughes, president of Community College of Rhode Island, has been appointed a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s 2023 board of directors. She will serve as one of the three Class B directors, who are elected by member banks to represent the public and are chosen with consideration of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor and consumers.

Brandon Brice has been named vice president of community relations and college advancement at Maryland’s Cecil College. He comes from the United Way of Delaware where he was director of philanthropy.

Martha Hurley will serve as the new dean of liberal arts, communication and social sciences at Sinclair Community College in Ohio, effective June 1. She comes from the University of Dayton, where she is currently chair and professor in the criminal justice and security studies department.

Tranquilino “Kino” Hurtado is Salt Lake Community College‘s (SLCC) first director of Hispanic-Serving Institution Initiatives. As an emerging Hispanic-serving institution (eHSI), Hurtado will coordinate HSI efforts across the college, involving academic and nonacademic programs to prepare for this federal designation. Hurtado initially joined SLCC in 2021 to help run its summer Bridge program.

Chris Paynter is the new associate dean of science programs at Hillsborough Community College‘s Dale Mabry Campus (Florida). He comes from Central Piedmont Community College (North Carolina), where he was dean of educational partnerships and dean of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Amy Phillips is now executive director of the Mountain Gateway Community College Educational Foundation. She also serves as director of the Virginia college’s institutional advancement and public information officer.

Regina Smith has been appointed the chancellor’s equity and justice fellow at the Los Angeles Community College District. She will provide leadership and advance district strategies for diversity, equity, inclusion and access. Smith recently served as vice president of student services at Los Angeles City College.

Brad Spielman has been named director of the Center for Academic Engagement at Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina. He comes from Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa, where he was the associate provost of student services.

Shelley Tinkham is the new vice president of academic affairs at Oregon’s Lane Community College. Previously, she was dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts for five years.

DeSandra Washington is now vice president for academic support and diversity, equity and inclusion services at Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina. She joined the college in 1988 as basic skills counselor and has advanced through other positions, most recently as associate vice president for academic support.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
Matthew Dembicki edits Community College Daily and serves as associate vice president of communications for the American Association of Community Colleges.