Clovis Community College President Dr. Lori Bennett announced Tuesday that she plans to retire next January after nearly seven years at the helm of the college and nearly 30 years in higher education.
“It is with excitement and sadness that I announce that I will be retiring as President of Clovis Community College effective January,” Bennett said in a campus announcement. “I have served in higher education for nearly 30 years, as a faculty member and administrator, including six years as president. I love our college and our district, but after much discussion, my family and I are ready for a new chapter in my life.
The State Center Community College District will launch a new nationwide search for her replacement. This will be the second presidential search in as many years after Carole Goldsmith was named district chancellor, creating a vacancy in the president’s office at Fresno City College.
Bennett oversaw the expansion of Clovis College as one of the fastest growing colleges in the state. On May 2, the college is to celebrate the inauguration of the new Applied Technology Building. The campus is located at the southwest corner of Willow and International Avenues in northeast Fresno.
Expansion of Clovis College under Bennett
The district said that under Bennett’s leadership, Clovis College introduced 70 new degrees and certificates and a competitive athletics program. Student retention and completion rates have improved, and the college has been honored for the high rate of student transfers to four-year colleges.
The Campaign for College Opportunity has officially recognized the college four years in a row for its work to increase the number of students receiving associate degrees for transfer, which guarantees transfer to a California state university.
Goldsmith said she was grateful for Bennett’s commitment and dedication, “and for his vision in leading Clovis Community College to the thriving and vibrant campus it is today. …His work to improve the lives of our students will serve many generations to come.
More details on the national search for Bennett’s replacement will be released later this month.
Goldsmith already has one college president appointment to recommend, that of Fresno City College. The four finalists appeared in public forums last week and Goldsmith will make its recommendation to the board.
District spokeswoman Lucy Ruiz told GV Wire that having two presidential searches in a short period of time is not unusual, especially in a post-COVID world where many people are weighing how they want to spend their time. .
“There are a lot of retirements going on right now,” she said, noting her own retirement coming up in July.