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Dr. Whitney Yamamura became Chancellor of the Coast Community College District on September 1, 2022. Previously, he served as the third president of Folsom Lake College in July of 2017. In that role, he was instrumental in championing the Rancho Cordova Promise, launching new career education programs, partnering with Intel in creating an Artificial Intelligence program, and expanding the incarcerated student programs at Folsom and Mule Creek prisons. He was named Folsom Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2020 and was co-recipient of the (national) Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) Annual Award in 2018. Yamamura also serves as the vice president of the California Community College Asian American Pacific Islander Trustees and Administrators Caucus.
Yamamura worked in the Los Rios Community College District since 1989. He served at all four colleges within the district. Prior to the presidency at Folsom Lake, he served as interim president at Sacramento City College and Cosumnes River College. He served as Vice President of Instruction and Accreditation Liaison Officer at Cosumnes River for an earlier 8 years. Yamamura was the founding dean at American River College's Natomas Center. He previously served as Dean of Behavioral & Social Sciences at American River for six years and was the first dean to serve as a full member on the management collective bargaining team with the faculty union. His tenured faculty experience comes from eight years as a Professor of Economics at American River.
Yamamura is a fourth-generation Japanese-American and Californian. He is the grandson and great-grandson of farmers and farmworkers. His father's family was interned at Tule Lake and his mother's family was interned in Arkansas during WWII. Yamamura has deep roots in education, his father Sam taught in K-12 for over 30 years and has a library in the Elk Grove Unified School District named in his honor. Whitney Yamamura is the second Japanese-American (and Asian or Pacific Islander) to serve as president in the history of all four colleges in Los Rios, going back to 1916.
Yamamura earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, finance concentration, and a Master's of Arts in Economics both from CSU Sacramento and earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Davis. He completed the Harvard Seminar for Presidential Leadership at Harvard's Graduate School of Education and UC Davis' Wheelhouse Institute on Leadership for California community college chief executive officers.