Coast district chancellor resigns

The top administrator at the Coast Community College District will leave his post Friday, two days after announcing his resignation.

In an email circulated among district employees Wednesday night, Chancellor Andrew Jones said his rapid departure came with mixed emotions, but did not indicate the reason for his resignation.

"Coast is an amazing place because of its dedicated professionals, and I am very proud of the accomplishments we have achieved during the past three years," he wrote.

The district hired Jones in 2011 after former Chancellor Ding-Jo Currie retired. Currie held several positions within the district and its colleges for 30 years.

Under Jones' leadership, the district passed a $690-million bond initiative and implemented student success initiatives, according to a news release.

In June, Jones received the Multicultural Leadership Award at the California Diversity and Leadership Conference for his innovative leadership and commitment to diversity awareness.

Jones could not immediately be reached for comment.

"The Coast team has accomplished so much, but I am most proud of their daily commitment to ensure that our students are provided the best education possible," Jones said in the statement.

News of Jones' departure comes just two weeks before classes are scheduled to begin at the district's three colleges — Orange Coast, Golden West and Coastline Community.

The announcement also comes on the heels of the district's yearlong attempt to correct employee and educational practices that have placed its three colleges at risk of losing their educational credentials.

Last year, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges made several recommendations to the district, including improving the way the board delegates tasks to the chancellor.

In a self-evaluation completed in October, trustees also acknowledged that they needed to improve communication with Jones.

The board will appoint an interim chancellor during its next meeting, Aug. 20, said trustee Lorraine Prinsky.

The district will then begin a national search for a new chancellor. This will likely take several months, Prinsky said.

She declined to comment on the reason behind Jones' departure, but said the relationship is "ending amicably."

"Both sides are expressing appreciation for one another," she said.

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