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COC president Van Hook gets new title

• Dianne Van Hook is now ‘Chancellor of the Santa Clarita Community College District'

Posted: May 30, 2008 1:28 a.m.
Updated: July 31, 2008 5:01 a.m.

College of the Canyons Superintendent-President Dianne Van Hook has a new title - Chancellor of the Santa Clarita Community College District.

Her new title was unveiled at a regular meeting of the Santa Clarita Community College District's Board of Trustees on Wednesday night during a joint meeting with the College of the Canyons Foundation Board.

This year marks Van Hook's 20th year as superintendent-president of College of the Canyons, a period that has seen incredible growth at the college and in the Santa Clarita Valley as a whole.

"Developing new programs, new partnerships, new facilities and new ideas doesn't just happen," said board of trustees member Joan MacGregor. "It must be done intelligently, with vision, with cost-effective and innovative plans, and with a fair amount of tenacity."

Board member Michele Jenkins, who was on Van Hook's original hiring committee in 1988, recalls the decision that brought the then 37 year old to College of the Canyons.

"The moment we met Dianne on a site visit to Feather River College, we knew we were looking at a high-impact executive with boundless energy, strength and a sense of vision who would set a new course for College of the Canyons," Jenkins said. "I am proud and so glad that our board had the courage to hire Dianne and am thrilled about the leadership she has provided over the years."

The term "chancellor" dates back to Roman times and evolved through the Middle Ages. In the 13th century, few people besides priests, clerks and monks were literate, and the chancellor was an ecclesiastic. As keeper of the great seal used to authenticate royal documents, the chancellor became, in most medieval kingdoms, the most powerful official.

The term has evolved and today is widely used for the person who is the functional chief executive officer of a college or university.

The board praised Van Hook particularly for her many accomplishments over the last year, which included overseeing the major tasks of developing and opening a new campus on Sierra Highway in Canyon Country and overseeing the construction and opening of several new buildings on the Valencia campus.

Van Hook is noted for her philosophy, "If you can dream it, you can do it." She says she wants the college to always be ready to help all students fulfill their dreams.


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