SOCCCD Board of Trustees Selects Incoming Chancellor, Julianna M. Asperin Barnes

May 26, 2022
Contact: Letitia Clark, MPP
Office: 949-582-4920

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – After a nationwide search, the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees has selected Dr. Julianna M. Asperin Barnes to serve as the new chancellor for the South Orange County Community College District. Pending ratification of her contract, Dr. Barnes is expected to start in the role in August 2022 during the transitional period of current Chancellor Kathleen Burke’s retirement.

“We are excited to have Dr. Barnes serve in the role as the leader of the District,” said President of the Board of Trustees, Marcia Milchiker. “On behalf of the Board, we believe Dr. Barnes’ experience, talents, and ideas will only enhance the great aspects about our district and colleges. She brings much to the table and we look forward to working with her.”

Vice President of the Board of Trustees, Tim Jemal said, “We enthusiastically welcome Dr. Barnes as our next Chancellor. The South Orange County Community College District is a special place and I am confident that Dr. Barnes will be an exceptional leader.”

Dr. Barnes comes to SOCCCD with over 30 years of experience in higher education. Since 2015, she has served as President of Cuyamaca College. Under her leadership, the college emerged as a leading college in equity and innovation and was awarded the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award and was also recognized nationally by Excelencia in Education. She led efforts to advance the college’s strategic plan priorities, leading to increases in student retention and completion.

Dr. Barnes is known for her inclusive leadership, valuing participatory governance and transparency. Throughout her career, she has forged effective partnerships with other educational institutions, community organizations, and industry. Prior to her presidency, Dr. Barnes served as Vice President, Student Services at Cuyamaca and Mesa Colleges; Dean, Student Development and Matriculation at SD City College; and Dean, Student Affairs and 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.

At the regional, state, and national levels—Dr. Barnes serves on several boards and is an invited speaker at numerous conferences. Of note, she serves on the board of directors for the Community College League of California (CCLC), and as vice president of the southern region for the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges (CEOCCC) Board. She was recently appointed as the CEO lead for the ACCJC Standards Review focused on decision making and governance.

Dr. Barnes received a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and a Master of Arts in education/multicultural counseling from SDSU, plus a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and minor in teacher education from UCSD. She is a lifelong southern California resident and is proud to be the mother of two adult daughters.

New Chancellor photo
Dr. Julianna M. Asperin Barnes

“I am impressed with the deliberate, equity-minded, student-centered approaches in the SOCCCD and the commitment to advance economic and social mobility. I am honored to serve as the next chancellor of the SOCCCD and look forward to building upon the district’s legacy of excellence,” said Dr. Barnes."


About the South Orange County Community College District: SOCCCD serves nearly 50,000 students per year through our two colleges, Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College. The district serves nearly one million residents and employs more than 3,000 faculty and staff.