Tim Karas to become superintendent/president at Mendocino College

By Isis Piccillo, Co-Editor

June 19, 2020

After over three years as president of College of Alameda (CoA) and two years prior as vice president of instruction, Timothy Karas is moving on to become superintendent/president of Mendocino College.

Dr. Timothy Karas

“Leaving CoA was one of the hardest decision[s] I have made in my professional life,” Karas said in an email to The Citizen. “The “island” is a wonderful place,” he said of Alameda.

Karas has commuted from San Jose to Alameda since he started at Peralta in 2014. He often started his board of trustees president report with “Greetings from the island,” and has been commended by faculty for his community involvement. Jennifer Fowler, CoA distance education coordinator and communication instructor, listed some of the organizations he participated in, including the board for the Alameda Chamber of Commerce and Alameda Family Services, the mayor’s economic development task force, and the local Rotary Club.

Karas will be a hard act to follow, said Fowler.

“He is upbeat and supportive in every interaction.”

Karas is leaving behind three in-progress facilities projects, including the Center for Liberal Arts, which will open in fall 2020. Before he stepped into office, the campus had not had facility updates for decades, and Karas said he considers those buildings some of his greatest successes as president.

Construction continues while campus is closed on the College of Alameda Center for Liberal Arts. The building is slated to open in fall 2020. [Photo courtesy of Tim Karas]

The Center for Liberal Arts while under construction in November 2019. [Wen Li/The Citizen]

Fowler also pointed to the community and industry partnerships Karas established, and Karas encouraged the next president to “continue momentum in partnering with the city, chamber, non-profits, and service organizations.”

“I am always struck by Dr. Karas’ focus and emphasis on students,” Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud said to The Citizen in an email.

“We’ve been fortunate to have him as part of the Peralta Community College District family for many years. And he remains part of our family, in the broader California Community College network. This move is a great opportunity for him and his family and I wish him the best.”

Ysrael Quezon, former Associated Students of College of Alameda president and recipient of the President’s Medallion, said he pays respect to Karas’ resilience in facing challenges that Peralta has been dealt with.

“Leaving CoA was one of the hardest decision[s] I have made in my professional life.”
-Dr. Timothy Karas

Fowler said that Karas took on his position as CoA president after a period of high administrative turnover. He has provided “an immeasurable sense of institutional security, innovation, and consistency.”

She hopes “input from faculty, classified professionals, and students is strongly regarded in the selection of our next President.”

“I would advise the next president of CoA to continue the collaborative and collective decision making environment,” Karas said. He will begin his new role July 13. Mendocino-Lake Community College District has four campuses and a coastal research station.

“I threw myself, body and soul into this job because I loved the opportunity to serve and the people with whom I worked,” Karas said.

“I have no regrets.”