Trustees of the West Kern Community College District made it official May 8 when they voted to approve a 3-year contract to hire Dr. Dena Maloney as superintendent of the district and president of its only college.
Maloney has been with College of the Canyons since the early 1990s. She has headed COC’s Canyon Country campus since it opened in 2007 and is the college’s vice president for economic development.
She holds a doctorate of education from the University of La Verne and a master’s degree in government from Georgetown University. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Loyola Marymount.
When she officially starts in her new role May 1, Malone will take the reins of Taft College from interim superintendent-president Richard “Dick” Giese. The last “permanent” chief, Willy Duncan, left after 14 years to run another community college district in the Sacramento area.
Under the contract ratified May 8, Maloney will receive $210,000 in annual compensation: $183,371 in base salary and the rest in the form of housing, vehicle and technology allowances.
By comparison, COC Superintendent-President Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook earns $290,000 per year. Van Hook is in her 24th year running COC, which has more than twice as many students as Taft, and twice as many campuses plus a university center where students can pursue four-year degrees.
One transition shouldn’t be too difficult for Maloney to make: As at COC, she’ll be rooting for the Cougars.