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Experienced leader steps in for Valley College

Dr. Denise Noldon holds down the fort and prepares Valley College for its next caretaker.

By Solomon Smith, Managing Editor

Vice President of Administrative Services, Mike Lee, gave up the president’s chair Monday to the new interim president Dr. Denise Noldon, an experienced executive who has previously been in this position.

After retiring in July 2018, Noldon was probably expecting to enjoy her free time by indulging in some her favorite activities, traveling and reading. However, Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez cut her retirement short by asking for her help. According to a memo from the LACCD Board of Trustees, her current contract covers Feb. 11 to June 30 for which she will receive $20,678, a relocation reimbursement of $10,000 and a $500 monthly car allowance.

Noldon started in education and administration early in her career and has been thoroughly prepared for her new position as interim president of Valley College. She was previously the interim president of Los Angeles Southwest College for almost two years.

“I think I bring years of experience in working at the executive and community college level,” said Noldon.

She has all the qualifications that a school could want: interim vice chancellor for student services and special programs for the California Community Colleges, a doctorate in education and her two years as interim president of Southwest was during one of the schools most challenging periods. At the time, Southwest was undergoing a probation period for its accreditation.

“Because of the situation the college was in, with respect to accreditation,” said Noldon, “… it made sense that the person who started the process be there when the accreditation team came back.”

With her years of experience in education and administration, Noldon has often found herself in positions poised to help administrations in need and is proud of her time at both the community college and state level. She enjoyed her job at the state as vice chancellor, where she was able to participate in the beginnings of the then new student equity and workforce programs.

As the new temporary leader of Valley, she is responsible for not only keeping the school going, but also helping make the transition of the new president as smooth as possible. She is already familiar with some of the faculty and says she “trusts and respects” the staff at Valley and wants to “help in any way she can.”

“This is the second week of classes and so I want to be respectful of people trying to get in and get settled,” said Noldon. “We will more than likely, before the end of the month, set something up. I look forward to meeting the student body.”

Chancellor Rodriguez has stated that he is confident the position will be filled on time and Noldon has made it clear that this is short term.

“Whatever one or two things I can get done over the course of time that I’m here that would make the transition better,” said Noldon, “that is what I seek to be part of my very short legacy here.”


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