Glendale Community College trustees voted this week to extend Supt./President David Viar’s contract through 2017 and bump up his salary by 2%.
Viar took the helm of the campus in 2013 following a period of several years during which the college faced a high turnover of its top leaders.
He came to the Glendale campus after serving eight years as president of American River College in Sacramento and another 15 years prior to that as the head of the Community College League of California.
He began in his local post last July with a three-year contract that was slated to end in 2016 and a $240,000 salary that will increase to nearly $245,000 in July following the trustees’ evaluation of his work performance this week.
Glendale Community College Trustee President Ann Ransford said she appreciates how Viar can adapt to various situations, relate to people on all levels, use a good sense of humor, remain fair and grapple with the college’s finances.
“Usually, his ideas are better than yours. He’s very easy to work with,” she said. “He understands where we are as a campus, and where we need to go to continue to be successful. I just feel so proud that we have him. I am just so pleased that he chose us and we chose him.”
Among the college’s current challenges will be increasing enrollment. College officials had aimed for 2% growth in full-time students by the end of the academic year, but they may just hover at slightly more than a 1% rise.
College officials have discussed moving the school’s fall enrollment date to more closely match with other community colleges in Los Angeles, including Pasadena City College.
Looking back on his time at the college, so far, Viar said, “It’s been a fast and special eight months and I am pleased that the board recognized the good work we’re working on together.”
Among several of his goals outlined for the current academic year, Viar has been tasked to conduct open and honest dialogue with the college trustees, establish community partnerships, become familiar with the college’s instructional offerings and assure the campus sustains its accreditation status.
Viar and the trustees plan to outline additional goals during a retreat in May.
“We will continue to move forward in building community connections… and doing all we can to serve as many community citizens as we can with high quality education,” Viar said.
Fellow trustee Tony Tartaglia said Viar is an effective communicator with an “absolutely wonderful leadership style” that comes with his experience.
He also highly regards Viar’s approach to making decisions.
“If he’s going to make any change, he offers it out to any constituency prior to any change,” Tartaglia said. “I can’t say enough about him — he’s fantastic.”
Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.