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VVC president's contract not renewed

VICTORVILLE • A contract for Christopher O'Hearn, president of Victor Valley College, was not renewed during an emergency meeting called by the board of trustees on Friday evening.

The decision to not renew O’Hearn’s contract was 4-1, with Dennis Henderson voting yes.

The board members could not discuss the reason behind their decision — citing personnel privacy laws — but sources said it’s due to the college’s tenuous accreditation status and O’Hearn’s performance as superintendent.

The college, which has been on a two-year probation since June of 2011, is expected to find out its accreditation status sometime in February. O’Hearn and the board, however, have been accused of not responding in a timely manner to the probationary status set forth by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, which gave the school eight recommendations on topics ranging from campus climate to budgetary concerns.

Critics say that this delay in response was more strikes against the college, placing blame on a lack of leadership from O’Hearn. Because the board is able to hire and fire a superintendent at will, they have the ability to reinstate the contract at any time, however, pending a positive performance evaluation.

“If he does fine between now and the end of June, then they will consider renewing,” VVC spokesperson Bill Greulich said. “They did not discuss the reasons for not renewing it, but if he performs and they’re happy they can renew it at any time.”

Lynnea Lombardo may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at LLombardo@VVDailyPress.com.

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