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STAFF STORIES: Dr. Kathleen O'Connell Hodge

Dr. Kathleen O'Connell Hodge

Dr. Kathleen O'Connell Hodge was appointed the 7th President of Fullerton College in January 2004. She brought to Fullerton College 28 years of Community College leadership experience and a passion for Community College Education. Her academic credentials included a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Southern California, a Master's in Counseling and a Bachelor’s in Communications both from California State University at Fullerton and an Associate Degree from Citrus College.

During her tenure as Fullerton College President, Dr. Hodge oversaw the college’s architectural and building redevelopment. Dr. Hodge led campus initiatives to construct new classroom buildings, a new Library and Learning Resource Center, a new Student Center, a new Aquatics Complex, a new parking structure, a new Classroom Building, a new Physical Education Field House and the new Science Building ⅔'s through construction to be completed in the next semester. Additionally, all major infrastructure systems were upgraded to current code. Working closely with architects and faculty, she honored the traditional designs of the colleges' earliest buildings, and also succeeded in bringing the campus up to contemporary college standards. Dr. Hodge’s vision was to provide Fullerton College students with a true collegial environment and prepare the college for its Centennial, and another 100 years of service to the community. She insured that each new building was stamped with the new College logo crafted in the style of the original historic campus. The new seal represented both the history and the future of Fullerton College.

Beyond the significant capital construction projects, Dr. Hodge was proud to support the reinstatement of the College Debate and Forensic team, the establishment of the Classified Senate and the ranking of Fullerton College as the number one transfer institution among the California Community Colleges. The College was also granted full accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and received federal recognition as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Although the transition of the facilities on campus was a unique contribution, Dr. Hodge was also responsible for many shifts in the academic life of the campus, with the establishment of the Classified Senate, Student Representation on campus-wide committees, a commitment to hiring full-time faculty and the establishment of a third Vice Presidents to insure Student Services significance in college governance.

Among her many honors, while serving as President of Fullerton College, Dr. Hodge received the Orange County Engineering Council's President's Award in 2008, was named one of the 25 Most Influential People of North Orange County by the North Orange County Magazine in 2006 and also named one of the 50 Prominent Alumni of CSUF by Titan Magazine in 2005. She served on State wide committees, including the Chair of the Commission on Athletics. and served as Chair on several Accreditation Teams.

Dr. Hodge advanced from Fullerton College President to Vice Chancellor, Instruction for the North Orange County Community College District prior to her retirement in June 2010. Following her career in Higher Education, Dr. Hodge worked in several International Positions using the Community college model to advance Higher Education globally.