“It has been an honor to serve the San Diego Community College District, because of our mission of service to students and the community,” said Carroll. “This is a truly great organization and I have been privileged to work with a wonderful Board of Trustees and the phenomenal faculty and staff of City, Mesa, and Miramar Colleges, and Continuing Education. There will be time in the future to celebrate our accomplishments together, but I wanted to announce my plans now in order to give our Board and our district the necessary time to develop and implement a search process for the next chancellor.”
As chancellor, Carroll has overseen a transformation of San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, and San Diego Continuing Education funded through the voter-approved, $1.555-billion Propositions S and N bond measures passed in 2002 and 2006 respectively. She’s also a national leader in the tuition-free Promise movement and launched the district’s San Diego Promise program, which now serves more than 3,000 students annually.
Chancellor Carroll co-chaired the advocacy campaign which helped establish the California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Pilot Program, including a new bachelor’s degree program at Mesa College. In addition, Carroll was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate for a six-year term on the National Council on the Humanities overseeing the work of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and she has served on numerous local, state, and national boards and committees committed to educational and economic excellence.
Prior to being named chancellor, Carroll served 11 years as president of San Diego Mesa College, the district’s largest college. Before that, she was president of Saddleback College in Orange County and president of Indian Valley Colleges in Marin County, where she also spent one year as interim chancellor of the Marin Community College District.
Prior to her community college service, Dr. Carroll served as an administrator at the University of Southern Maine and the University of Pittsburgh.
SDCCD Board President Maria Nieto Senour says the district will soon begin the search process for a new chancellor. Senour shared that it will be a challenge to replace Chancellor Carroll, who is revered by her colleagues, having served as a community college CEO longer than anyone else in California.
“The San Diego Community College District is indebted to Chancellor Carroll for her many years of service on behalf of our colleges and students,” said Senour. “Constance is recognized both locally and nationally for her transformational leadership and during her time as chancellor, the SDCCD has established itself as one of the leading community college districts in the nation known for its deep commitment to social justice.”
Senour says the SDCCD Board of Trustees will designate a board subcommittee to oversee the search process, which will be conducted by a search committee. Board policy stipulates that committee members will include members of district governance groups and representatives from the community. Following the committee’s search process, trustees will interview finalists and then select the new chancellor. The new SDCCD chancellor is expected to begin in July 2021. However, Chancellor Carroll has agreed with the Board that if necessary, she will remain in the position until the next chancellor’s start date.
While retiring from her full-time administrative role at the district, Chancellor Carroll says she will pursue other avenues of service in education and in cultural organizations. Recently, Carroll led the establishment of the California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Association (CCCBA), a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing assistance and expanding opportunities for the state’s 115 community colleges to offer four-year degrees in workforce fields that now require a bachelor’s degree. Carroll, who serves as president of the CCCBA, says she is looking forward to focusing her time on the organization.
“Everyone who knows me knows that my life is about service,” said Carroll. “In closing this particular chapter in my professional life, I will be opening a new one which is designed to provide new opportunities for people who want to reach new heights in their lives and careers.”
As one of the largest of California’s 73 community college districts, the San Diego Community College District serves approximately 100,000 students annually through three two-year colleges and San Diego Continuing Education. The three colleges, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College, offer associate degrees and certificates in occupational programs that prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and entry-level jobs. Mesa College also offers a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. Continuing Education offers noncredit adult education at seven campuses throughout San Diego.