Dr. Angela Fairchilds Selected President for Columbia College

Press Release        No. 13-08


Modesto Junior College & Columbia College


Date:  December 11, 2013

Contact: Nick Stavrianoudakis, Director of Public Affairs: (209) 575-6959, stavrianoudakisn@yosemite.edu

Dr. Angela Fairchilds Selected President for Columbia College

Dr. Angela Fairchilds has accepted an offer by the Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) Board of Trustees to become the new president of Columbia College effective February 1, 2014.   Fairchilds will succeed Interim Columbia College President Dr. Leslie Buckalew.  Newly elected YCCD Board Chair Dr. Lynn Martin formally announced Dr. Fairchilds as Columbia College’s next President at the YCCD Board of Trustees meeting.  The decision was unanimous.

“I am thrilled to be selected as the next President of Columbia College.  I appreciate the YCCD Board of Trustees and Chancellor Smith giving me this opportunity,” commented Fairchilds on the announcement.

Dr. Fairchilds has over 30 years of experience in higher education including fourteen years as a leader in community colleges.  Fairchilds is currently President of Woodland Community College in the Yuba Community College District, where she has held that position since 2006.  While at Woodland, Dr. Fairchilds led the college to achieve Initial Accreditation through the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to become the 110th community college in California.

Prior to being President, she served as the Executive Dean at Woodland from 2004-06.  From 2000-2004 she held positions of Dean of Instruction at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona and Campus Dean of Verde Valley Campus in Clarkdale, Arizona.  During these four years, she performed instructional leadership and built community partnerships, both business and academic.

Dr. Fairchilds is a first-generation college student who took her first college course at Cerro Coso Community College at age 26.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Management (magna cum laude) and an MBA in Information Systems from Golden Gate University, as well as a PhD in Higher Education with emphasis in Community College Administration from the University of Arizona.

As a college leader, Dr. Fairchilds states that “I strongly believe in the importance of being involved in the community.”  In her current position, she is an active Rotarian and serves on the Executive Board for the

Woodland Chamber of Commerce.  “I have a passionate and enduring commitment to community colleges and to the students and the communities they serve.  During my visit to the college, I felt an immediate connection and I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to serve our students and the local communities.”

According to YCCD Chancellor Joan Smith, “Dr. Fairchilds will be a great fit for Columbia College. Her references were outstanding, and it shows in her strong background in higher education, accreditation, and instruction in addition to over seven years of experience as a community college president.”

Board Chair Lynn Martin affirmed Chancellor Smith’s praise by saying, “I’m looking forward to her expertise, particularly her experience as a college president.  I believe she can take Columbia College to the next level.  She will fit in nicely.  I was impressed by her encouraging demeanor.” 

Fairchilds’ selection comes after a nationwide search conducted by Ralph Andersen and Associates.  The search began on September 1, 2013. Columbia College Presidential forums were held in December 2, prior to Chancellor Smith and the Board interviewing three of the finalists for the position. 

According to Fairchilds, “My husband Dave and I have begun our real estate search and are looking forward to making Tuolumne County our home.” 

Dr. Angela Fairchilds


Dr. Angela R. Fairchilds

– YCCD –