The Virginia State Board for Community Colleges hired a new chancellor to head the 23-college system, according to a press release Wednesday.
David Doré is scheduled to start in the role in April. He currently serves as president of campuses and executive vice chancellor for student experience and workforce development at Pima Community College in Arizona.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Doré to lead Virginia’s Community Colleges at a time of transformation as our colleges prepare to take on an even larger role in preparing Virginians for successful careers and meeting the needs of Virginia’s businesses for workers with the right skills for the 21st century marketplace,” Douglas M. Garcia, chair of the board, said in the release.
Doré said in a media briefing Wednesday that he plans to prioritize training skilled workers to fill labor gaps in industries like IT, cybersecurity and health care. He also hopes to focus on boosting enrollment and retention at Virginia community colleges.
“The skills gap is a national crisis, frankly, and certainly that’s not unique to Virginia,” he said. “And I think that the Virginia Community Colleges will play the pivotal role in really addressing the skills gap in Virginia.”
The news comes after a somewhat contentious and politicized hiring process that followed Glenn DuBois, the former chancellor, announcing his retirement in summer 2021. The board announced in March that Russell A. Kavalhuna, the president of Henry Ford College in Michigan, would become the new chancellor, but he ultimately did not take the position for undisclosed reasons, prompting a new search last summer. Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin pushed for his administration to be involved in the hiring process, and the board agreed to put Virginia secretary of education Aimee Guidera on the search committee as a nonvoting member.
Garcia said in the media briefing that Guidera offered “valuable insight” during the search. He added that the committee’s hiring criteria and priorities did not shift over the course of the process.
Youngkin said in the release that he looked forward to working with Doré “to advance our mission of every high school graduate in Virginia being equipped with a credential in an in-demand industry and to ensure that the Virginia Community College System becomes a best-in-class national leader.”
Doré said he met with Youngkin for the first time this week and shares the governor’s goal to get students into the community college pipeline early and at scale.