West Hills College's Frank Gornick earns Chancellor Emeritus status from board

From West Hills College
Retiring West Hills College District Chancellor Frank Gornick
Retiring West Hills College District Chancellor Frank Gornick

In recognition of his 23 years of service to the West Hills Community College District, Dr. Frank Gornick has been named Chancellor Emeritus by the WHCCD Board of Trustees. The recognition comes just a few days before his retirement on June 30.

The honorary title was presented to Gornick on the eve of his retirement after two decades of dedication to the WHCCD. Gornick has served as the district’s Chief Executive Officer since 1994.

“It’s been a privilege to work alongside Dr. Frank Gornick for almost 24 years,” said long-time board member Jeff Levinson. “His contribution to our college district and communities will not go unnoticed. Frank very much deserves the Chancellor Emeritus title.” 

Gornick was hired in 1994 as Superintendent-President and transitioned to Chancellor when WHCCD became a multi-college district in 2001.

As the leader of the WHCCD, he has helped oversee the physical growth of the district including the addition of West Hills College Lemoore and the expansion and revitalization of West Hills College Coalinga.

West Hills College's Frank Gornick earns Chancellor Emeritus status from board

“I’ve been excited to come to work every morning for nearly 23 years,” Gornick said. “It’s not often that one is provided an opportunity to have a dream job. For me, being the CEO and working with the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, and community leaders was a privilege. The district is in a better place now, and poised for great things in the future because of everyone’s hard work and dedication to student success.”

One of the foremost educators in California, his long career has earned him many accolades and honors.  

Awards he has received include the MetLife Foundation Community College Excellence Award, the Executive of the Year Award from the Public Relations Society of America for college communications, and honors from the California Community College system for best practices in the fields of Diversity, Technology, and Highest Performing Institutions. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award from the Association of California Community College Administrators.

Gornick was a Governor’s appointee for higher education on the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and served as past Chair of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium. Additionally, he has served as a public representative for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 2009. He was elected by his peers to serve as Chair of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges Board.

Prior to serving as the CEO of the WHCCD, he was Dean of Student Services at Bakersfield College for nine years. He also held college administrative positions in Illinois, Texas and Maryland.

Gornick is an alumnus of West Hills College Coalinga—then Coalinga College—where he received his Associate’s Degree in 1966. He also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from California State University, Sacramento and a Ph.D. from St. Louis University.

Dr. Stuart Van Horn, currently WHCCD Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Workforce Development, will take over as Chancellor as of July 1.



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