GCC Announces the Long-Awaited Decision on the New President

Board of Trustees selects campus superintendent


On April 4, 2022, GCC’s Board of Trustees announced that after five months of working to find a new president for the college, Dr. Ryan Cornner was selected to be GCC’s new superintendent. 

In a press release, Dr. Armine Hacopian, the Board President, noted some of the qualities that made Dr. Cornner the select candidate. “Dr. Cornner was a remarkable candidate who demonstrated a deep understanding of the challenges facing community colleges with a proven record at both the campus and multi-district level,” said Dr. Hacopian. “Even more inspiring was his commitment to ensuring all people have equitable access to education and his willingness to work with others to set and achieve the goals that are the foundation of the community college system.”

Dr. Cornner attended the University of Southern California where he earned a Doctor of Education and Master of Social Work. He also earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of California San Diego.

According to the press release, Dr. Cornner began his career in social work and worked as an adjunct professor at a community college. “I was able to witness the individual impact on students in the classroom and recognize the broader impact of the institution,” said Dr. Cornner. “It was clear that community colleges are the best means to combat generational poverty and to have a socioeconomic impact on the community. So, I shifted to a career focused on improving the lives of students and creating institutional change to best serve the needs of the community.” Dr. Cornner has taught for more than 12 years and has also worked in an administrative setting for over 10 years.

Among his many experiences and positions, Dr. Cornner was the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at East Los Angeles College and the Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning and Innovation at Pasadena City College. “Over the last six years at the nine-college district, Dr. Cornner has worked on several initiatives to increase student access to college and ensure their success,” according to the press release. The initiatives being referred to are the LA College Promise Program, which provides free college tuition, Dual Enrollment agreements, and other programs that work “to address enrollment, completion rates, student basic needs, and accreditation.”

GCC’s current president, Dr. David Viar, also expressed his sentiments on the decision. “There was an exceptional group of candidates vying for this coveted spot to lead one of the most prestigious community colleges in the state,” said Dr. Viar. “It is a testament to Dr. Cornner and his abilities that the board selected him to continue GCC’s nearly one-hundred-year legacy. I wish him great success.” After nine years of service and leadership to GCC, Dr. Viar will be retiring in June 2022.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead this institution,” said Dr. Cornner in response to being selected. “I was well aware of GCC’s proud tradition of excellence and service to the community before I began this process and my respect has grown even deeper as I interacted with so many impressive people who I now get to call colleagues. My core leadership philosophy focuses on building a sense of shared community and values, which is essential to building an institutional culture that promotes collegiality, inclusion, innovation, and success. I look forward to engaging leaders throughout the college, as we work together to build on the college’s tradition and set the standard for excellence in meeting student needs.”


Dr. Cornner participated in a public forum last month that can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/GCCPublicForum  


To read the press release, vist:



Jacqueline Kamei can be reached at [email protected].