Dyrell Foster, a veteran Southern California community college administrator, said this week that he is “looking forward to really hitting the ground running,” when he takes over in February as president of Las Positas College in Livermore.
Foster, the vice president of student services at Moreno Valley College in Riverside County, was appointed to his new post during the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District’s Nov. 12 meeting.
“Definitely excited about this opportunity,” Foster said. “It’s a comprehensive college, one of the top community colleges in terms of transfer rates. It also has some great career education programs, outstanding support services — everything that a student would want in terms of education.”
Foster was selected from a “large, highly competitive and outstanding group of candidates from throughout the region, state and nation,” the district said in a statement. Foster will begin Feb. 10.
“Dr. Foster is a recognized leader in the California community colleges. His experience and knowledge in student and academic services will be an asset to Las Positas College,” said Ronald Gerhard, the district’s interim chancellor.
“He is a highly respected administrator and is on the front lines of new initiatives and issues facing our students, such as food and housing insecurity. He brings to the position a passion for teaching, learning and his focus has always been student success. I look forward to having him on our team."
Foster called Las Positas College an “outstanding institution,” focused on academic excellence and student success. He said the spring semester will already be underway when he arrives, and he is ready to jump right in.
“I think it’s an exciting time and there are a number of initiatives that are coming from the state and a lot more accountability as far as outcomes for our students,” Foster said. He added he will “assess and look at all the great things that are happening,” looking to enhance them and focus on what needs to be improved.
Las Positas College, which has an enrollment of nearly 8,500 day and evening students, offers career preparation, transfers to four-year institutions and career retraining and enrichment.
In his job at Moreno Valley College, Foster helped develop the college’s strategic initiatives, educational partnerships, community engagement, and student support programs.
Through its programs, the college experienced a 4% increase in enrollment from fall 2016 to spring 2019. In addition, Moreno Valley increased the number of degrees awarded, from 1,520 in 2016-17 to 2,394 in 2018-19.
“That’s our focus,” Foster said. “I’ve been able to take the lead with our team and our campus to make that a priority for our college here. That’s what I’ll bring with me.”
Foster previously worked as an administrator at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Evergreen Valley College in San Jose and San Jose State University. He earned a doctorate in education at USC; a master’s degree in counseling at Cal State Long Beach; and a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science at UC Davis.
Foster, who is married with a 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, said he grew up in Vacaville, has family in Sacramento, and worked early in his career in San Jose.
“It’s almost really a homecoming for me in some ways,” he said.