Benjamín T. Durán, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Benjamín T. Durán is a highly respected higher education leader, teacher and former president of Merced Community College in California.  He retired as superintendent/president of the Merced Community College District in 2012 after serving 22 years in the district with the last 14 years as the CEO.

In 2015, he came out of retirement when he was named executive director of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC), an organization that brings together community college, independent and university CEOs to collaborate on higher education issues in the Central Valley of California.

As a statewide higher education leader, Dr. Durán chaired the California Community College League’s Commission on the Future and was appointed by Chancellor Jack Scott to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Student Success Task Force. During his tenure he chaired the Community College League’s CEO Board, which led to his participation in the development of the Chancellor’s Office Statewide Strategic Plan. He served for twelve years on the Chancellor’s Office Economic and Workforce Development Advisory Committee.

He served on the University Committee and Friends of UC Merced Committee, helping to bring the University of California, Merced campus to the Central Valley. He also served on the UC Merced Board of Trustees; the California State University, Stanislaus Community Advisory Board for Stanislaus State’s Educational Leadership Ed.D. program; and as a faculty member in Stan State’s Education Doctoral program.

As a community activist with the Merced County Hispanic Network, he developed and starred in a short film designed to combat methamphetamine use among Latinos.

Nationally Dr. Durán is an alliance lead for Complete College of America, a national advocate for dramatically increasing college completion rates and closing institutional performance gaps by working with states, systems, institutions and partners to scale highly effective structural reforms and promote policies that improve student success.

As CVHEC executive director, Dr. Durán is a regional leader working with chancellors, presidents and campus directors of 28 member institutions of higher education, who make up CVHEC’s Board of Directors. CVHEC strives to increase the valley’s degree and certificate attainment rate and speak in a single voice for higher education issues for the Central Valley’s nine-county region. He leads the CVHEC staff in working with regional organizations and agencies as well as legislators and other policy makers.

He earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Organizational Leadership – Education at the University of Southern California (1990); Masters Degree, Education at Chapman University (1980); and Bachelor’s degree, Spanish Language and Literature at California State University, Stanislaus (1971).