New era begins at LMC campus
Newly elected Los Medanos College President Robert Kratochvil hopes to create strong, personal ties with his staff this semester. George Morin / The Advocate
His 2007-08 stint as interim president of Las Positas College in Livermore led his colleagues to believe that the top spot on a college campus was a good fit for him.
Robert "Bob" Kratochvil, who served as the LPC vice president of administrative services until June 30, began his work on July 1 as the sixth college president at Los Medanos College, Contra Costa College's sister college.
His three-year contract was ratified at the May 23 Governing Board meeting.
"My goals at this point are to meet with each faculty and staff member personally," Kratochvil said. "I'm finding out from them what my highest priorities should be."
Communication is one of the University of Southern California graduate's strong points. Former and present colleagues of Kratochvil attest to his work ethic and his infectious personality.
Las Positas College Foundation C.E.O. Ted Kaye worked alongside Kratochvil for eight years at LPC.
"He's one of the few people who is a 'business person' with a really wonderful and sharp sense of humor," Dr. Kaye said. "The key thing is that he had the ability to work well with faculty, staff and administration in good or bad situations. If one were to check around the campus, people would say Bob is a terrific guy."
Kratochvil's work history includes time at California Polytechnic State University and a stint as the director of financial management at Cal State-Dominguez Hills.
The 57-year-old grew up in Los Angeles. In 2002 he made the move to Las Positas and began working for the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District.
Taking the reigns at a California community college also means taking on the budgetary setbacks that plague the system. Those familiar with him professionally display the utmost confidence in his leadership and believe that he is the right man to lead LMC during these times.
Jennifer Adams, executive assistant to the president, worked at LPC with Kratochvil for seven years before following him to LMC this year. She also served under him during his time as interim president at Las Positas.
"People really respected him," Adams said. "The leadership qualities he has rubbed off on others (which was evident) by the way people interacted with one another. People who work with him feel like they're valued. He enables them to do their job."
Adams said the new leader of LMC was heavily involved in recent LPC construction projects.
Kratochvil was involved in the implementation of the $498 million Measure B construction bond in the Chabot-LPC district, which brought repairs to damaged buildings as well as additional classroom buildings to LPC.
"He was the main person who oversaw the huge expansion at LPC," Kaye said. "Bob worked with the architects and the day-to-day construction workers."
Richard Livingston, senior dean of instruction at LMC, is also Kratochvil's predecessor, fresh off his stint as interim president at Los Medanos.
Livingston met Kratochvil as part of the presidential selection committee.
"I think he's doing what a new president should do, which is not do things too quickly and familiarizing himself with the staff and what the pertinent college issues are," Livingston said.
Aside from his leadership and the respect he receives from colleagues, Kratochvil is known for his sense of humor.
Being from Southern California, Kratochvil joked that while living in Northern California he has been repeatedly asked who his favorite football team is - the Oakland Raiders or the San Francisco 49ers.
Though he did not give a definitive answer, he did hint to some sort of affiliation.
"I held season tickets for the Raiders the last time they won the Super Bowl - when they were the L.A. Raiders."
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