link Presidential Forum for Mid-December

Presidential Forum for Mid-December

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- Mission College in Santa Clara will hold forums over three days in mid-December to select its next college president. The three finalists are Dr. Mike Holtzclaw, Dr. Tina Vasconcellos, and Dr. Chris Villa.

The forums will take place in the Freeberg Hospitality Management Building on December 13, 14, and 15 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. A zoom link and full biographies are available at The community is also welcome to join the forums in person, with COVID protocols in place.

Daniel Peck, the College's longest-serving president (2012-2021) is stepping down and moving to Connecticut to be closer to family on the East Coast.

Presidential Forum Schedule
December 13 • 11 a.m. • Dr. Chris Villa
December 14 • 11 a.m. • Dr. Tina Vasconcellos
December 15 • 11 a.m. • Dr. Mike Holtzclaw

About the Candidates

Dr. Chris Villa

Villa has over 20 years of high education experience and was previously the president of Portland Community College's Rock Creek campus (2018-20). Prior, Villa was the Vice President of Student Services at LA Mission College (2015-18), Fresno City College (2009-15), Long Beach City College (2006-09), and Cal State Northridge (2003-06). He was also an associate dean at the College of the Canyons (2000-03).

Villa was appointed to the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Equity Leadership Council, a group of educational leaders who advocate increasing equity in higher education 

Villa earned his bachelor's degree in social ecology from UC Irvine, a Master's in public administration from USC, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from Utah.

Dr. Tina Vasconcellos

Vasconcellos has been the Vice President of Student Services and Accreditation Liason Officer at the College of Alameda since 2016. She previously served as dean of academic and student affairs at Laney and Merritt Colleges and was a tenured faculty member as well. She has 20 years of experience in the college system.

Vasconcellos leveraged over $800,000 in a partnership with the Eat.Learn.Play Foundation and World Central Kitchen to address food insecurities for students.

A first-generation graduate, she earned a Ph.D. in community college leadership from Colorado State and a Master's in counseling with an emphasis in multicultural and holistic counseling from John F. Kennedy University. 

Dr. Mike Holtzclaw

Holtzclaw has been in higher education for three decades. Holtzclaw has been the Vice President of Instruction at the College of San Mateo since 2019 after serving as a dean at Diablo Valley College (2016-18) and Ohlone College (2012-16). He spent 15 years (1997-2012) as a professor of geography, department chair, and dean of Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Ore and began his career at Lewis and Clark College in admissions (1988-97)

While at Ohlone he established relationships with NASA/Ames and Lawrence Livermore Labs for student internships and faculty externships.

Holtzclaw earned a bachelor's in international affairs with a minor in Soviet and East European studies from Lewis and Clark College (Ore.) and a Ph.D. in geography from The Ohio State University. He has lived in seven countries, studied six languages, and has visited more than 55 countries. He studied abroad in Costa Rica, Hungary, the former Soviet Union, and Indonesia.

Following the forums and second-round interviews, the successful presidential candidate will be recommended to the Board of Trustees and start in 2022.