Chancellor Barnes at Investiture

The South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees was proud to host an inaugural Investiture Ceremony for the district's 10th Chancellor, Dr. Julianna M. Asperin Barnes.

The ceremony included remarks from SOCCCD stakeholders including faculty, staff, and students, K-12 and higher educational partners, and business and elected leaders.

Many thanks to all who attended to welcome and celebrate Chancellor Barnes, who is unapologetically committed to the success of all students!

About Event  |  About the Chancellor  |  Event Media  |  FAQs

About The Event

The South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees invited faculty, staff, students, and community members to the inaugural investiture ceremony in honor of Chancellor Julianna M. Asperin Barnes, scheduled on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at the Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Barnes began her tenure in SOCCCD in August 2022, making her the 10th Chancellor of the District. The Board of Trustees was proud to officially announce her appointment and present her to the community at-large, with the investiture ceremony which was held for the first time in the District’s 50 plus year history.

“On behalf of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees, we are excited to welcome Chancellor Barnes. Her years of experience in the community college system as well as her deep commitment to student success and innovation are just a couple reasons why she was picked to lead the district’s efforts in serving the next generation of students with excellent educational programs and support services at Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College. Additionally, we are assured by her leadership efforts to strengthen partnerships with the business and non-profit community throughout Orange County. The future is bright for SOCCCD,” said Board President Timothy Jemal.

Investiture Ceremony

  1. Processional
  2. National Anthem - Rachael Valdez, Student, Saddleback College
  3. Pledge of Allegiance - Terri Rydell, EdD, Vice President, SOCCCD Board of Trustees
  4. Welcome - Timothy Jemal, President, SOCCCD Board of Trustees
  5. Greetings
    1. Robert Melendez, President-Elect & Vice President, SOCCCD Faculty Association
    2. Scott Greene, President, California School Employees Association
    3. Rachel Abalos, Student Trustee, SOCCCD Board of Trustees
  6. Remarks
    1. Nina Boyd, Deputy Superintendent, Operations, Government and Community Partnerships, Orange County Department of Education (OCDE)
    2. Framroze “Fram” Virjee, President, California State University, Fullerton
    3. Jeffrey Ball, President and CEO, Orange County Business Council
    4. Dr. Larry Galizio, President and CEO, Community Colleges League of California
  7. Presentation of Medallion and Installation - Timothy Jemal, President, SOCCCD Board of Trustees
  8. Investiture Address - Dr. Julianna M. Asperin Barnes, Chancellor, SOCCCD
  9. Recessional

About the Chancellor

The Chancellor is responsible for setting and communicating expectations for educational excellence and integrity throughout the district and support for the effective operation of the colleges. The Chancellor acts as liaison between the colleges and the governing board, and provides for the fair distribution of resources, control of expenditures, strategic institutional development, district-wide strategic planning, accreditation, and for the long-term financial stability of the district and colleges.

Chancellor and staff

Dr. Julianna M. Asperin Barnes has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. She joined the South Orange County Community College District as Chancellor on August 1, 2022.

Prior to this, Dr. Barnes served as President of Cuyamaca College. Under her leadership, the college emerged as a leading institution in equity and innovation. Early adopters in developmental education reform, Cuyamaca College was awarded the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award and was recognized nationally by Excelencia in Education.

Dr. Barnes is known in the higher education arena as an inclusive and engaged leader who fosters strong internal and external relationships, providing the foundation for equitable student outcomes, a positive campus climate, and a healthy organization.

Prior to her presidency, Dr. Barnes served as Vice President of Student Services at Cuyamaca and Mesa colleges; Dean of Student Development & Matriculation at San Diego City College; and Dean of Student Affairs & Matriculation at Miramar College. She also served in various positions at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in San Diego State University’s (SDSU) doctoral program.

Chancellor at a podium

At the regional, state, and national levels, Dr. Barnes serves on several boards and has presented at numerous conferences. Of note, she serves on the board of directors for the Community College League of California (CCLC), and as President-Elect for the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) Board.

Dr. Barnes received a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and a Master of Arts in education / multi-cultural counseling from SDSU; and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a minor in teacher education from UCSD. She is a lifelong southern California resident and a proud mother of two adult daughters.

Chancellor Barnes is impressed with the deliberate, equity-minded, student-centered approaches she sees at the SOCCCD and she feels honored to join this extraordinary learning environment and contribute to the next generation of learners.

Event Media

First 100 Days and beyond Listening Tour REport

Investiture ceremony program for Chancellor Dr. Julianna M. Asperin Barnes

Investiture Ceremony Flickr Album



Frequently Asked Questions

investiture stage with medal

An investiture is an academic ceremony steeped in tradition that symbolizes the transfer of authority in the district. Our ceremony included district delegations of faculty and staff, as well as educational colleagues, community leaders, and honored guests. This investiture ushers in a new era at SOCCCD, with Chancellor Barnes ascending to our highest leadership position.

singing of the national anthem at the investiture

The investiture ceremony itself featured a number of rituals normally associated with events such as commencement. There was a full academic procession, followed by the board of trustees, faculty and distinguished guests from other academic institutions and OC community.

inveInvestiture stage and crowds

Faculty, staff, students, and members of the general public were all witnesses to this marking of a new beginning in the life of the district.

Board of Supervisors presents Chancellor a plaque at investiture

Elements of the ceremony included: remarks from the diverse constituencies that comprise the district community, the presentation of plaques from the offices of elected officials, the formal presentation of the chancellor’s medallion and investiture of the new chancellor by the President of the Board of Trustees, and an inaugural address by the new chancellor.

Chancellor barnes with board president jemal

Originating in English universities, those in leadership positions often wore chains with medallions on ceremonial occasions as a symbol of the authority vested in them. The South Orange County Community College District’s medallion includes the district’s logo, along with Dr. Barnes’ name. Chancellor Barnes will wear the medallion with her academic regalia at all commencements and other ceremonial events.

Some participants in the processional wore gowns and academic regalia representing the academic institutions that issued their highest diplomas. Gown designs have different meanings, such as doctorate gowns having three velvet bars on the sleeves and black velvet on the front. Hoods are typically worn for graduate degrees and have colors of the institution conferring the degree or indicate the degree’s subject. The tassel color varies with the school’s colors or is coded to the degree’s subject, although doctorates often use a gold tassel.