2013-09-06 / Front Page

Moorpark College appoints interim president

By Stephanie Sumell

Luskin Luskin Bernard Luskin’s decision to earn a college degree was sparked in an unlikely way.

It was the late 1950s and Luskin was serving as a captain’s yeoman on a guided missile ship for the U.S. Navy.

“When I was a young sailor, I worked with an officer who’d gone to Grove City College in Pennsylvania,” he said. “He was very proud of his education and told me how important it was to go to college.”

Inspired to follow suit, Luskin enrolled at Ventura College— a decision that helped shape the man he is today.

“ I have a desire to give back,” said the veteran, who later earned his associate’s degree in liberal arts from Long Beach City College. “Community colleges were fundamental in my ability to have a wonderful life. . . my goal is to take people from where they are and help them get where they want to go.”

The 75-year-old Westlake Village resident plans to do just that. He assumed his role as the new interim president of Moorpark College on Sept. 3.

“I’m thrilled,” said Luskin, who earned his doctorate in community college leadership and vocational education from UCLA. “I’m going to work at it all day, every day to do everything I can to make (the college) the best it can be.”

Pam Eddinger, the college’s previous president, resigned in the spring to become president of Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.

Luskin has taught at universities throughout California, including UCLA, USC and Pepperdine, in his more than 50-year career in education.

The licensed psychologist and award-winning author has served as president of Orange Coast College, founding president of Coastline Community College, founding chancellor of Jones International University, founding CEO of Touro University Worldwide and president and professor of applied psychology at Wright Graduate University.

He is the CEO of Luskin International, an educational consulting firm, and the director of W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community College Leadership Legacy Project, a research study that supports community colleges.

He received two Emmy awards for his documentaries on education in 1973.

Iris Ingram, Moorpark College’s vice president of business services, and acting president since late June, said Luskin’s extensive credentials make him an asset to the college.

“The president’s role is to keep everyone focused on our mission to serve our students,” she said. “(Luskin) has dozens of years of experience in higher education (and) brings a wealth of knowledge of the community college system.”

A recipient of the Bellweather Leadership Award from the Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, Luskin said he is excited about his new job.

“Moorpark College is a jewel in the crown of the state’s community college system,” he said. “I want to work with all of (its) individual programs to make them the best they can be.”

Although statewide budget cuts are still affecting class offerings, Moorpark College will continue to make the best of its resources, Luskin said.

“Funds have been tight (and) it’s a real struggle. . . . I’m hoping the economy will continue to improve.”

Luskin will remain interim president until a permanent president is selected in 2014.

“I’ll stay as long as they need me,” he said. “There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than this.”

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