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First Latino Selected to Head Community College District

May 30, 1996

The troubled Los Angeles Community College District, beset by plummeting enrollment and money shortages, Wednesday night picked a veteran educator who grew up in East Los Angeles as the new chancellor of the nation's largest community college system.

The district's Board of Trustees emerged from an eight-hour, closed-door session to announce that they had unanimously given William Segura, 48, president of the multicampus Austin Community College in Texas, a four-year contract and a hefty pay hike to become the district's first Latino leader.

"He is an outstanding educator, a man of great vision who is more than capable of leading this college district into the 21st century," said Trustee Lindsay Conner. Segura will prove "more than equal to this challenge" of running the nine-campus, 95,723-student system, Conner said.

"I'm very excited to be the new chancellor," Segura said by telephone from his home in the Austin area shortly after signing a tentative contract. "I feel very positive about the prospects for the Los Angeles Community College District."

Segura, who describes himself as experienced in "organizational transformation," won praise in Austin for helping the college link its programs with local high-tech industries.

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