COD Trustees Name Laura Hope Interim President

The Desert Community College District Board of Trustees voted 5-0 to offer Laura Hope, current Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness at Chaffey Community College District, the position of Interim Superintendent/President of College of the Desert.

Her annual salary will be $355,000 and shall be payable in 12 equal installments. Payment shall be prorated for service of less than a full fiscal year. You may read her full employment contract here.

Hope will begin serving in the new role on July 1, following the resignation of current Superintendent/President Martha Garcia effective June 30.

Hope comes to College of the Desert with 34 years of experience in the California Community College system, working as a community college faculty member, academic dean, executive vice-chancellor, and associate superintendent. Throughout her career, Hope has led a number of innovative efforts at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, including the Puente Project, Turning Point, an associate’s degree program in the California Institution for Women and the California Institution for Men, Chaffey’s Success Center network, the Faculty Success Center and Classified Success Network.

In August 2017, Hope began serving as executive vice chancellor for educational services at the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office in Sacramento. During that time, she introduced and led major reforms including Guided Pathways, the Student-Centered Funding Formula, the Student Equity and Achievement Program, and AB 705 implementation, among other efforts.

In 2019, she returned to Chaffey College to advance developmental education reforms, Guided Pathways implementation, dual enrollment and distance education expansion, improved equitable hiring practices, and enrollment systems.  She is also on the leadership team to implement the construction of two new campus sites, including a brand-new campus in Ontario, California, and a flagship building on the Rancho Cucamonga campus, The Library and Learning Commons, which will house the Library, Success Centers, Faculty Success Center, and the Innovation Center.

Beyond her scope as a college leader, Hope also serves as the Inland Empire Region 9 Chief Instructional Officer (CIO) representative to the systemwide CIO Board; she serves on the Learning Lab Board serving the California Community College Foundation; she was a founding leader for RP Group’s effort “Leading from the Middle”; coauthored a textbook published by Jossey Bass titled “Student Success in Community Colleges: A Practical Guide to Developmental Education,” which won the Mertes Award for Research from the RP Group; and she served on the Executive Board for the Inland Empire/Desert Regional Consortium, supporting work-based learning and employment growth.

“Laura Hope enjoys a strong record of leadership success at Chaffey Community College District and in the California Community College System, generally,” said Desert Community College District Board of Trustees Chair Bonnie Stefan, Ed.D. “We are confident that she will continue the College’s long tradition of helping students achieve their dreams.”

“We were pleased to meet four very strong finalists. I want to commend my fellow board members for coming together in support of Laura,” Stefan said. “The Board looks forward to working with her for the future success of the District and its students.”


Image Sources

  • 2023-Laura-Hope-800×568-: Chaffey College