Coast Community College District Chancellor Ding-Jo Currie

Coast Community College District Chancellor Ding-Jo Currie

COSTA MESA — Coast Community College District Chancellor Ding-Jo Currie announced Wednesday that she will retire at the end of the school year.

Currie announced in a letter to faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees that she will retire June 30 to spend more time with family and friends, according to the letter.

"It is with much agonizing and heartfelt reflection that I have come to a decision regarding my search for the next chapter of a purposeful life," Currie wrote.

Currie took the helm of the district, which oversees Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, last November after serving as interim chancellor since January 2009.

She took over after Chancellor Ken Yglesias went on administrative leave and then resigned in March 2009.

Currie was chosen by the district's Board of Trustees to oversee the three colleges that serve more than 60,000 students in western Orange County and about 20,000 military students worldwide and has an annual budget of more than $240 million.

Currie said in the letter that she is staying through the academic year to complete the district's Vision 2020 Master Plan, budget deliberations, development for the next two years and implement ways to generate revenue.

"Community colleges have long been the love of my life (besides my family)," she wrote in the letter. "After more than 30 years of this love affair, I cannot simply close the door on it. I will continue to be involved with community colleges education and contribute in other ways and by other means. I hope you can forgive me for my timing, but it seems that there is never a good time to leave."

Before being tapped as chancellor, Currie led Coastline Community College as its president for nearly seven years.

She serves on the boards of directors of the American Council on Education, the Center for Global Integrated Education and as the immediate past chairwoman for the American Assn. of Community Colleges.

Currie also served as the chairwoman of the Community College Advisory Panel for the College Board.