Las Positas College President Kevin Walthers has been chosen to take the helm at Allan Hancock College.

Kevin Walthers

Kevin Walthers

The Board of Trustees offered the president’s job to Walthers on Wednesday night during a special board meeting.

The offer is subject to the board’s approval of findings from a site visit to Las Positas College and the successful negotiation of his contract.

A final decision is expected at Hancock’s board meeting May 21.

Walthers came out on top of three finalists, which also included Luis Sanchez, Hancock’s vice president of academic affairs, and Christopher Villa, Fresno City College vice president of student services.

A search committee has been working since January to find a permanent replacement for José Ortiz, who left last June to head the Peralta Community College District in Oakland.

Betty Miller, former vice president and director of administrative services, has been serving as interim president until trustees can find a replacement to take over no later than July 1.

Since August 2011, Walthers has been president of Las Positas College, which serves 8,500 students from the East Bay region of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties.

He previously served as the vice chancellor for administration for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. He also served in executive roles with the Utah State Board of Regents and the College of Eastern Utah.

On Thursday, Walthers shared his excitement with Noozhawk, but refrained from prolonged comment because “right now we’re focused on ironing out all the details.”

“My family and I are excited by the opportunity, and look forward to getting to Santa Maria,” he said in an email. “It’s been a whirlwind day, but a good day.”

Hancock trustees on Thursday didn’t have any additional comment on the selection, a college spokeswoman said.

During his tenure at Las Positas College, Walthers has been recognized for restoring college relationships with the community, creating innovative fundraising programs, leading mid-term accreditation requirements and building a strong and diverse administrative team, according to a release Hancock sent out about the trustees’ decision.

Walthers began his career as an educator by teaching high school in north Texas, and he has taught at all levels of higher education.

Walthers attended Eastfield Community College in Mesquite, Texas, holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s of educational administration from Texas A&M University – Commerce, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy from the University of Utah.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.