“When students walk into a classroom they expect a comfortable learning environment– the lights working, the air conditioning and heating functioning, and the room clean,” said Willard Wright, the new Vice Chancellor of Administrative services of Yuba College.
It can be a struggle putting the many different needs of the students and teachers into priority and budgeting the college’s limited funds. There is a lot to take into consideration, especially the constant rise in prices like heating oil and natural gas. However, Willard Wright rises to the challenge of these tasks.
“In this job, there’s something different everyday,” said Wright.
Within his first academic year at Yuba College, Wright will oversee the renovation of building 800, the Marysville campus’s science and math building. He will also oversee the construction of a new learning resource center on Woodland campus. This past summer, Yuba College’s big project was to reconstruct the west parking lot, which cost over $1 million to complete.
“One of our primary responsibilities here is to seek out and find additional resources,” Wright said. He would like to see more renovation done on campus. The infrastructure is 40 years old. There are typical problems that occur with regularity, such as plumbing and electrical problems. In addition to that, there are aging heaters and air conditioning equipment.
Wright’s main concern is the students. Soon he plans to visit more classrooms and interact with students and teachers. He wants to talk to students about what they want to see more of and find out what their needs are.
In the distant future, when Wright retires from his duties as vice chancellor, he plans to resume his real passion, which is teaching.
Before becoming Yuba College’s vice chancellor, he worked at Solano Community College in Fairfield, California, for six years as Vice President of Administrative and Business Services. Prior to his tenure at Solano, Wright worked in Aurora, Illinois, with Caterpillar Inc. for 32 years.
He took an early retirement as a division manager. During that time he was also an adjunct instructor for 28 years. He has taught finance, accounting and management at several community colleges and private universities. A graduate from the University of Nebraska, he also has an MBA and a doctorate in adult continuing education.
Wright has published several articles on training middle level managers in downsized corporations. He has also held managerial positions in the private industry and adjunct faculty positions in academia for over 30 years. In addition to his degrees, he has received numerous awards for his abilities, which include a Certification of Recognition he received from the students at Solano Community College.
The cities of Vacaville and Vallejo City Councils both proclaimed June 28, 2005, the day he resigned from Solano Community College, as “Willard Wright Day.” He also received meritorious awards from the State Legislature and several members of Congress.
“I’m very blessed with my family,” Wright smiled.
He takes pride in his three successful children. The oldest is his daughter who is Vice President of Video Promotions with Motown Records. She works with stars like Nelly, Brian McKnight and India Arie, who answers her personal voicemail. Wright’s second daughter, a graduate of Columbia University School of Medicine, is a successful Obstetrician in New Jersey. His youngest child is his son, a doctor and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine.
Wright has two stepchildren. One is a nurse and the other is a freelance writer. Wright also has five grandchildren ranging from ages two to twelve.