Deborah Budd thinks she can be the next president of Contra Costa College.
Dr. Budd, Peralta Community College District vice chancellor of educational services, is one of four candidates to replace former college president McKinley Williams, who retired in December 2011.
Contra Costa Community College District Chancellor Helen Benjamin will choose one of the four candidates April 11 to become the permanent president of the college. Dr. Benjamin will take her choice to the Governing Board May 23 for a vote.
Peralta district Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Michael Orkin said Budd deserves to be selected CCC president.
“She is very hard working, dedicated and really smart,” Dr. Orkin said. “She is a very strong leader and has the ability to work with everyone. Before making any kind of decision, she consults with everyone to hear their points of view.”
Budd said she must include everyone in the decision-making process because her decision not only affects the students, but faculty and staff as well.
Budd has lived in the Bay Area since 1986. She worked as vice chancellor in the Oakland-based district, vice president of instruction at Berkeley City College and other community colleges and high schools.
The 53-year-old Southern California-native grew up in the San Fernando Valley and after attending San Francisco State for her doctorate, fell in love with the diversity of the Bay Area and decided to make it her home.
Budd said her experience working in education prepared her for the position of president and she wants to run a college despite the current fiscal environment of the state.
“I absolutely have a love for education,” Budd said. “I had great teachers who impacted my life and I wanted to have just as much of an impact on students’ lives.”
Budd received her bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in business, economics and physical education. She earned a master’s degree in education from Stanford University and then her doctorate in educational leadership from San Francisco State.
She said she wants to make the classroom a healthy learning environment for students, which is one of her main goals.
Budd has worked in the community college system since 1999 and said she would like to bring success back to the classroom.
“To change the status quo, we have to get people to realize we do need change,” she said.
A teacher at the middle and high school levels, Budd missed teaching and interacting with students. This was when she chose to return to community college classes.
Budd said her 25 years in education, as both a faculty member and administrator, has helped her in her efforts to better the colleges at which she has worked.
She said she knows CCC serves a large community and she would do whatever is in the best interest of the college so it could continue serving the community.
“Contra Costa has some excellent programs,” Budd said. “I would like to see what has been working for these programs and build on that to continue to serve students.”
As an administrator, Budd has overseen enrollment management and helped create and maintain the shared governance process at Peralta. With a business background, she has also helped to find funding for her colleges.
Dr. Joseph Bielanski, BCC Academic Senate president, said he worked with Budd for about five years at BCC and during their time he learned that she is a genuine people person who enjoyed working with others to better the learning environment.
Bielanski said Budd works with people to come up with ideas and solutions that reflect a group effort.
“When we saw a downturn in funding because of budget cuts, she did the best she could do to find grants to make up for what was lost,” Bielanski said.
Bielanski said one of Budd’s main focuses is collecting data to see how to improve student success in and out of the classroom.
He said Budd is engaging and likes to work with people. She is outgoing and friendly and that has contributed to Budd’s success at BCC. Bielanski said her goal is to become a college president and when she has a goal it is important she reaches it.
“I would say it is very clear at this point that she wants to be a college president,” Bielanski said. “She is extremely well-qualified.”