SCCCD board taps Northern Calif. administrator as interim Chancellor

The State Center Community College District (SCCCD) has found an interim replacement for outgoing Chancellor Dr. Paul Parnell, who is retiring on July 6 after five years with the district. 

Board President Annalisa Perea announced Tuesday that Dr. Douglas Houston will start his tenure as the Interim Chancellor on May 1. The board will conduct a national search to find a permanent replacement. 


“The Board is pleased to appoint Dr. Houston as Interim Chancellor,” Perea said in a statement. “His successful track record as a respected state-wide leader in community colleges coupled with his experience working in a multi-college district make him the ideal choice for this significant position as we search for a permanent chancellor. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we want to congratulate Dr. Houston and look forward to working with him.” 

Houston will come to the Central Valley after he wraps up his term as the Chancellor of the Yuba Community College District, which oversees colleges in Yuba and Yolo Counties and has campuses in Colusa, Lake and Sutter Counties. 

He has experience as an administrator at several community colleges – including Barstow College, Butte College and Lassen College – and he has taught at various levels, including his time as a physics professor at West Point. 

Houston received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in physics from the University of Florida before receiving a doctorate in educational leadership from Pepperdine University. 

Before his higher education career, Houston served for a decade as an active duty Regular Army Officer and also served in various Reserve and National Guard assignments.

Houston currently is the Co-Chair of the California Community College Veterans Caucus and the immediate past-president for the Board of Association of California Community College Administrators. 

He is also on the Advisory Board for Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research at U.C. Davis and the CSU Sacramento Educational Doctorate program. 

“I am humbled to serve as the interim chancellor,” Houston said in a statement. “State Center Community College District has a rich history of quality instruction, programs and student success; it is home to the first and to the newest of California’s community colleges. 

“This is an exciting time to join that legacy as the District constructs several new state-of-the-art facilities and continues to improve the educational experience for students. I look forward to working with the Board, faculty, staff, students and community and supporting the search for the next chancellor.”

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