(Riverton, Wyo.) – Dr. Cristobal “Chris” Valdez has been named the new president of Central Wyoming College in action taken by the Board of TrusteesTuesday night on campus shortly after 7 p.m. Valdez, the current president of Edison State Community College in Ohio, will replace long-time CWC President Jo Anne McFarland, who is retiring at the end of June.
CWC Board Chairman Charlie Krebs of Lander said Valdez will be paid $170,500 a year with a $6,000 annual car allowance, a $12,000 annual housing allowance and $20,000 in a moving allowance.
Krebs said Valdez will take the reigns of the college on July 14th and that his wife and four children would join him in early August in Riverton.
“The key thing in my mind was his initial application that was very thorough, the fact that he is an existing president at a college of a similar size as ours and he was in a rural area of Ohio,” Krebs said immediately following the meeting. “Our Skype interview with him went very well even though the video went out shortly into the interview.Our search committee also agreed, naming him one of the finalists.”
Krebbs noted that Valdez’s background in student completion programs was also a key factor in the decision. “From what we all ascertained, he is committed to that, from student access to student completion. It will complement what we have started here.”
Krebs said one other factor that was in Valdez’s favor was the fact that he helped raise $2 million for the Edison College Endowment.
Valdez began his college education at University of Montana, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in social work. He earned a master’s of social work (MSW) at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., and he completed an Ed.D. in Community College Leadership from Oregon State University in Corvallis.
Under Valdez’ leadership Edison Community College secured in excess of $1.5 million in grant funding and dramatically increased the foundation’s assets including a $2 million gift, the largest in the history of the college.
Valdez and his wife Robin have four children: Antonio, Ali, Aaron and Andi. He expects his family will join him in Wyoming in August.