Recommending Lloyd Holmes To Be De Anza President
Chancellor Judy C. Miner sent the message below in a May 27 email to De Anza College faculty, classified professional staff and administrators, outlining her reasons for recommending that the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees appoint Lloyd A. Holmes as De Anza College's next president.
May 27, 2020
I am thrilled to let you know that I am recommending the hiring of Dr. Lloyd A. Holmes as De Anza College’s next president. His name will appear on the agenda that will be posted tomorrow for the Board of Trustees’ June 2 special meeting. I am extremely excited about having Lloyd as part of the district’s executive team and am absolutely confident that his skills, experience, character and values are an ideal match for De Anza, particularly at this time. If approved by the board, Lloyd will start his new position July 1.
Lloyd is currently vice president of student services at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y., a position he has held with distinction for the past six years. Monroe serves about 40,000 students a year at two campuses and has residence halls serving nearly 800 students and a university center where students can complete a baccalaureate degree. Monroe is part of the 64-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system of two- and four-year schools.
In addition to his stellar leadership at the college, Lloyd has taken on several systemwide leadership roles, including mentoring sister colleges in implementing the SUNY Guided Pathways model, having successfully led that initiative at Monroe, and serving on the SUNY Food Insecurity Task Force, formed to address student hunger.
In addition to his stellar leadership at the college, Lloyd has taken on several systemwide leadership roles.
As an executive administrator on Monroe’s leadership team, Lloyd’s portfolio includes leading the board of the MCC Association, a not-for-profit organization that provides financial and management support for student services such as campus bookstores, a campus-based child care center, residence halls, athletics, co-curricular programs and campus food services.
Lloyd taught adjustment to college and leadership courses for several years at the University of Mississippi and for a short time taught graduate students there as an adjunct professor in the School of Education. He has worked as a residence hall advisor, financial aid advisor, coordinator of student wellness and alcohol and drug abuse programs, and dean of students. His doctoral dissertation examined the relationship between having a sense of community and student retention, and he has overseen or participated in enrollment management teams at his two most recent institutions.
Knowing how much of his life’s work is authentically student centered explains why Shelly Michael, De Anza Associated Study Body president, so enthusiastically advocated for Lloyd’s appointment after gathering input from students. It is why De Anza Interim President Christina Espinosa-Pieb and Foothill College President Thuy Nguyen are excited to have him as an educational partner.
De Anza’s vision of leadership
De Anza has always been bold in its vision of who can provide exceptional leadership. None of its three prior presidents had been a president before. Founding president A. Robert DeHart was dean of students at Foothill College and directed the planning of De Anza before being named president. Martha J. Kanter was vice president of instruction at a much smaller community college. And Brian Murphy was an executive director at an institute at San Francisco State University.
In searching for the next president, I wanted to have a clear understanding of the things that De Anza values as well as areas where improvement is desired. In fall 2019, I hired a leadership and organizational effectiveness consultant to help us frame the job announcement.
Surveys and focus groups that involved approximately 300 faculty, staff, students and community members identified what De Anza wants in its leaders and values as a community, including:
- An inspiring leader who can articulate a strong purpose and move the organization forward beyond crisis/survival mode into a culture of possibility, optimism and innovation
- An educator who can take up matters of teaching, learning and student equity with skill and confidence, as well as an administrator who understands how college practices can negatively (or positively) affect student success
- A leader who can empower faculty and staff to re-envision and re-energize the college to meet changing needs
- A present and visible leader who is transparent and advocates for shared decision-making; who works with faculty and staff to develop new ways to inspire, educate and support students; and who creates and supports a workplace community where inclusion, communication, collaboration, transparency, equity, quality and accountability thrive
- A leader who will help De Anza grow as a community to fully realize a focus on students, reduce or eliminate bureaucracy, encourage innovation, practice empathy, resolve conflicts before they fester, and find new ways to generate funding and opportunities for students.
Lloyd Holmes’ record as a leader
I am gratified at how closely these expressed desires, needs and aspirations align with the comments I heard about Lloyd from people who have worked with him across a range of institutions over the past 15 years.
Many noted that his care for students and their success is central to his identity, along with his commitment to equity and inclusion.
"His understanding of diversity in all aspects is part of who he is and informs most of his decisions."- Colleague of Lloyd Holmes
Commenting on how he works with others, people described Lloyd as a leader who listens carefully to what people have to say, hears their needs and engages them in working through problems together.
Many remarked on his ability to recognize talent and put together effective teams, often drawing in people who had previously been overlooked.
“Oftentimes, leaders will surround themselves with people like themselves,” one colleague observed. “Lloyd will select people who have diversity of opinion and thought and the way they approach their own leadership. I think he’s a master at that.”
Another colleague said, “He is very spirited and likes to engage people on all levels. He looks for the silver lining of things and he enjoys student success and student empowerment.”
Other themes emerged in exploring Lloyd’s accomplishments. Multiple people commented on his ability to create, streamline and clarify processes and systems. “I would say he helped us reach the next level,’’ one colleague said. “He has helped us do better at all of the things we already do well… He helps us see things we didn’t know were possible.”
One of Lloyd’s accomplishments at Monroe was transforming a traditional student affairs division into an organization that is considered one of the best-performing at the college. In another significant undertaking, he was instrumental in ensuring that Monroe’s new downtown campus would be successful. The verdict: “It was flawless.”
Lloyd has been highly successful at every college in every state where he’s worked. He’s been able to understand the rules and thrive.
These are some of the comments Lloyd’s current and former colleagues shared about what it’s like to work with him.
He’s a person who has a vision and direction, and he empowers his staff to go accomplish that. He doesn’t micromanage; he leads more by inspiration and a sense of trust in his team.
His inclusivity is very broad. The fact that he reached out to all the people and knew who they were showed us that there were no small people to him on campus.
His understanding of diversity in all aspects is part of who he is and informs most of his decisions.
He has tremendous integrity. He takes pride in his work and he’s good at details.
He’s direct. He was interactive, but he was also decisive and willing to make a decision. He really acted upon his decisions and he was courageous about them.
He is always concerned about students and student success.
My vision of Lloyd Holmes at De Anza
I believe that Lloyd has the capacity to be a transformational leader. He has the skills to guide the college in adapting to change at a challenging time in ways that will maximize De Anza’s potential. He will cultivate the enormous talent that exists within our campus community, suggest new ways to collaborate, and welcome those with expertise to share. His work in other states and in different systems will bring us fresh perspectives and new ideas to consider. He will do this work with the help of a deep bench of knowledgeable leaders at De Anza, and I know that students and student success will always center his work.
"I appreciated his emphasis on emotional intelligence and the importance of listening and learning as leadership qualities."- De Anza faculty member
In addition to being highly visible on campus, Lloyd also will reach out to the larger community to find new partnerships and create new opportunities for students.
He was instrumental at Monroe in securing a $3 million grant to aid students struggling with food insecurity and other barriers to their education, and his active engagement on various community boards has directly benefitted students.
Many of you know that I believe in “must be present to win,” and Lloyd has a track record that demonstrates his own commitment to being present.
Lloyd’s enthusiasm and optimism, his patience and persistence, his commitment to holistic student support and removing barriers to success are qualities that will shape his contributions to De Anza. I see him as the right combination of head and heart that De Anza needs.
Your feedback suggests that many of you also see him as I do:
I sense that he will bring a fresh perspective, an open mind, and an authentic, caring personality to increase trust and morale going forward into difficult times. – De Anza faculty member
I think he will truly energize the campus and bring new life and new direction to our equity practices. – De Anza faculty member
He had a very inclusive view of governance. He seems that he will put our students first, and also listen to all voices at the table to support the students. – De Anza classified professional
He also seems to have the vision and charisma that can help move a giant ship like De Anza and it's clear that equity is at the core of his values. I appreciated his emphasis on emotional intelligence and the importance of listening and learning as leadership qualities. – De Anza faculty member
A deeply humane, thoughtful, personable, and authentic individual. Dr. Lloyd Holmes brings a wealth and depth of experience that will enrich and advance the values and mission of De Anza College. – De Anza faculty member
Very genuine, exceptional relational skills important to fundraising and developing partnerships as well as conveying a sense of compassion and strength. Has an accounting background that will serve him well in the upcoming fiscal challenges. – De Anza administrator/manager
He seemed like he had the experience to lead college with kindness, which is much needed right now. He also had a great perspective on equity which is at the heart of all that De Anza does. – De Anza administrator/manager
He seemed experienced in problem-solving difficult situations. In addition, he seems to be comfortable approaching challenges and engaging the community to find solutions … Overall, I think he would have a positive impact and create change to the college community. He seems to come with refreshing ideas that could benefit our college and district. – De Anza classified professional
Empathetic, student-focused administrator with a great personal story that informs his career and relates deeply to the lives of our students. – De Anza faculty member
Lloyd’s personal story – losing his father at a very early age, growing up struggling to make ends meet, and having his horizons opened as a community college student – makes him a role model for students and an inspiration to all. He has lived the community college student journey, and that’s incredibly important.
“Not a lot escapes him,” observed Anne Kress, who worked with Lloyd as president of Monroe before leaving to head Northern Virginia Community College. “He can get to the heart of the matter and see what is the thing that needs to be done. He can cut through the noise. He can figure out a path to get there.”
She described Lloyd as a great cheerleader. “There’s never a moment when he gives up,” she said. “He perseveres. He will not be defeated. He wanted Monroe to be the best possible college for the students.”