Since joining the Ventura County Community College District, Greg Gillespie, Ph.D., has continually strived to provide students with access to high-quality, relevant educational programs and support services, first as president of Ventura College, and currently as VCCCD chancellor. After eight years of service to the District, Gillespie has announced his retirement, effective the end of June 2022.
During his tenure as chancellor, Gillespie spearheaded initiatives promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to support the varying needs of the District’s students, employees and the greater community. This includes building a culture that encourages equity and social justice.
“I have appreciated the opportunity to work in the VCCCD community over the past eight years. We have experienced quite a journey together,” Gillespie said. Gillespie notably steered the District through the COVID-19 pandemic, collaborating with the District’s board of trustees and senior leadership for operations to continue at Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges and Ventura College East Campus. The District followed guidance from Ventura County Public Health, California Department of Health and Cal/OSHA to ensure the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff throughout the pandemic and instituted remote learning and hybrid courses, so students could continue their studies safely.
“Chancellor Gillespie has guided us through the pandemic with a focus on the needs of our students, faculty, classified staff and three colleges,” said Board Chair Joshua Chancer. “With Dr. Gillespie’s leadership, we have seen a greater emphasis on certificate and degree completion, allowing students to achieve their full potential in the classroom and progress into careers and further education.”
Chancer indicated the District will soon start the search process for a new chancellor. Gillespie will work closely with the board to ensure a smooth transition in District leadership.
Before joining the District, Gillespie served as vice president for instruction and student services at Yavapai College, Prescott, Ariz. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the community college system and has served in faculty, director, dean, vice president and president positions at four different community colleges in Arizona, California and Washington.
In his remaining time with the District, Gillespie will continue serving on the Ventura County P-20 Council, which advances the strengthening of educational and career opportunities in the community from pre-school through college, United Way of Ventura County and other local organizations.
“There is much work ahead of us in the coming year. We are challenged to learn everything we can from what has occurred in the past 18 months, preserving the best of practices—past, present and future—and integrating them into our emerging new normal,” said Gillespie.