Jill Stearns named president of Modesto Junior College in California

The Modesto Bee May 3, 2012

New Modesto Junior College president Jill Stearns

Modesto Junior College has chosen an administrator from West Hills College in Coalinga to be its new president.

Jill Stearns was selected from four female finalists by the Yosemite Community College District board Tuesday. She will earn $180,180 a year on a three-year contract, with a $600 monthly car allowance.

"She just really impressed me and everyone throughout all the steps of the process," said Mike Riley, YCCD board chairman. "I came away from all the presentations with that she is really smart and has a great strength to her. She is straightforward in dealing with people. I have a really strong hope and confidence that she'll provide stability for MJC."

She will begin her new job July 1.

Her selection ends a prolonged search for a replacement for previous president Gaither Loewenstein, who resigned last May after a controversy erupted over provocative song lyrics he had written. The search was restarted in December after four finalists came to campus to interview.
Stearns, who grew up in Avenal in Kings County, said she is familiar with the Central Valley and impressed by the community support at MJC.

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