Saddleback College President Tod Burnett plans to step down in June 2017. The South Orange County Community College will begin a search to replace him at the community college in Mission Viejo.
Burnett was hired in 2008 from the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office, where he’d been appointed vice chancellor by then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Burnett had been Schwarzenegger’s deputy appointments secretary and held a presidential appointment with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a mayoral appointment as a Los Angeles public works commissioner.
His private sector experience includes finance positions in life insurance and banking.
He’s a board member of Tilly’s Life Center in Lake Forest, a teen-focused charity started by Tilly’s Inc. cofounder Tilly Levine, according to the charity, and his LinkedIn profile cites his slot on the School of Education advisory council for Brandman University in Irvine.
At Saddleback he contributed to areas that include advocacy, fundraising, grant development and academic programs.
Burnett said that he chose June 2017 for his retirement in order to effectively guide Saddleback through the rest of this academic year and facilitate smooth accreditation and leadership transition processes.
Saddleback was nationally recognized in July by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of 93 colleges and universities in the country earning the “Great College to Work For” designation.