An immigrant and woman of color with decades of management experience in higher education has been selected as the next president/superintendent of Hartnell College.
Patricia Hsieh will take the helm in October as the college prepares to mark its centennial anniversary. She replaces Willard Lewallen who served for seven years during a period of growth and increased recognition for Hartnell.
The terms of Hsieh’s employment still need to be finalized and approved by her and the college’s Board of Trustees.
Hsieh, pronounced SHEE-ah, comes to Hartnell from San Diego Miramar College where she served as president for the past 14 years. Before that, she was an administrator at Sacramento City College.
Two other finalists were vying for the job, but Hsieh won out after last month’s open candidates’ forum on campus and a recent visit to Miramar College by two Hartnell trustees.
The announcement of Hsieh’s selection ends her candidacy for the top job at Rancho Santiago and Rio Hondo community colleges.
In 2015, Hsieh’s name came up during the search for new top executives at Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Pasadena City College. She was a finalist for both jobs but was ultimately passed up.
A native of Taiwan, Hsieh has been recognized as a trailblazer among Asian Americans in the field of higher education administration.
She will become only the second female president/superintendent in Hartnell’s hundred-year history. The first was Phoebe Helm who preceded Lewallen.
“I am excited to receive this vote of confidence,” Dr. Hsieh said in a statement. “I look forward to completing negotiations and going to work with Hartnell’s visionary board and dedicated faculty and staff in support of students from throughout the Salinas Valley and beyond.”