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Dr. David M. Johnson Named Permanent President of Merritt College

8 June 2020

Dr. David M. Johnson
Late last week, Dr. David M. Johnson was named President of Merritt College in Oakland after serving as acting president for the last six months. Dr. Johnson brings a decade of administrative leadership in education and 15 years of higher-education classroom experience to the role.

“Becoming Merritt College President is the culmination of my professional aspirations. As such, this institution can expect from me unparalleled enthusiasm, commitment, and collegiality in terms of working to push our college to unprecedented heights,” said Dr. Johnson. “My vision for Merritt College is that we become and remain a preeminent institution of learning, training, and civic engagement.”

Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District, which includes Merritt College as well Laney College, Berkeley City College, and College of Alameda, said, “Dr. Johnson’s appreciation for consultative and collegial decision-making, coupled with deep personal ties to the community, make him the ideal president for Merritt College.” She continued, “The college is fortunate to be in the hands of such a valuable and well-equipped leader.”

In this role, Dr. Johnson plans to honor the rich history and diverse population the College serves. Founded in Oakland in 1954, the College is considered the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. Today, Merritt College serves over 7,000 students, 75% of whom are people of color, with acclaimed programs in community social services, registered nursing, child development, nutrition & dietetics, environmental studies, and landscape horticulture.

“My view of equity goes beyond simply recognizing that we all have different backgrounds, perspectives, strengths, and challenges,” continued Dr. Johnson. “My focus is to ensure that everyone understands our shared responsibility to get every student to achieve his/her educational goals.”

Minutes from the East Bay’s busiest commercial centers, Merritt College also provides technology training, including an award-winning cybersecurity program, that prepare students for work in the thriving Bay Area technology sector.

Dr. Johnson was raised in Oakland and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from U.C. Berkeley, a Master’s Degree in Communications from the University of Washington, and a Doctorate in History from U.C. Berkeley.

About the Peralta Community College District

Founded in 1964, the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is a collaborative community of colleges comprised of Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Laney and Merritt colleges in Oakland, California. The Peralta Colleges provide a dynamic multicultural learning environment offering accessible, high-quality educational programs and services, including two year degrees, certificates and university transfer programs, to more than 30,000 students. PCCD is home to award-winning Peralta TV (Comcast ch. 27/28, AT&T ch. 99) and public radio KGPC 96.9 FM. To learn more about The Peralta Colleges, visit www.peralta.edu.

Filed under: Merritt College

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