STOCKTON — Delta College Superintendent/President Kathy Hart announced Tuesday that she will retire in September after serving the college and greater community for 25 years.
Hart was appointed president in 2012, becoming the first woman to serve in that capacity.
But she got her start at Delta much earlier. A native of Indiana, Hart arrived in 1994 and worked as the assistant division chair for communication skills before moving on to become the dean of planning, research and regional education, the vice president of instruction and eventually the superintendent/president.
She said it was an honor to work at the College for a quarter century.
“I truly believe in the important work that we do in improving the lives of our students,” said Hart, who announced her plans during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting. “One of the best parts of my job is going out in the community and hearing so many people talk about how we have made an impact on them or someone they know.”
During her tenure, Hart has advocated for community colleges across the state, in part through her service on the California Community College Athletics Association Board of Directors and other organizations.
But she has also been a strong advocate here at home, forging a number of new community alliances and partnerships. Most recently, she collaborated with Stanislaus State officials on a partnership that allows Delta graduates to earn bachelor’s degrees at the university’s Stockton Center.
Hart is equally known for her community involvement off campus, including her service on the Stockton Arts Commission, the Stockton Symphony Board of Directors and the Haggin Museum Board of Trustees, as well as a number of business and civic organizations.
“I am proud of the public-private partnerships we have established and the strong support we get from our community,” Hart said. “The success of our community is vital to the success of our students. This community is my home and I will continue to further support its growth and be an advocate for Delta College.”
Hart’s appointment as superintendent/president brought stability to Delta after a time of rapid turnover. She led the College to successful reaccreditation in 2014 and spent much of her time recently working on measures to help the College grow and to ensure that more students have an opportunity to achieve their goals.
She has received various recognitions both from the local community and higher education institutions for her outstanding work. Some of these awards include the 2013 Athena Awards, 2016 President’s Award from the Middle College National Consortium, and the 2016 Educator of the Year from the Central Valley Asian-American Chamber of Commerce. Under her leadership, Delta College has received important recognitions, including being selected as one of Aspen Institute’s top 150 Community Colleges in the United States.
“I am thankful to the Board, my leadership team, the faculty, managers, and classified staff at Delta College for their support throughout the years,” Hart said. “But most importantly, I thank our students for the privilege of serving them every day through my role as Superintendent/President.”
Catherine Mathis, president of the Delta College Board of Trustees, called Hart “an exemplary Superintendent/President who steered this ship through some treacherous waters.”
“We have been fortunate to have her,” Mathis said. “We wish her well and hope we can find someone who is equally talented to fill the position.”