Oxnard College president Luis Sanchez plans to retire at the end of January as a months-long investigation into sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against him continues, The Ventura County Star reported.
Sanchez, who took the position in 2019, told the news outlet that he submitted his retirement notice to the chancellor of the Ventura Community College District last week. When Sanchez was put on administrative leave in May, the investigation was expected to conclude in 90 days. However, that time frame was extended. Vice Chancellor Laura Barroso said in a July letter that district leaders needed until at least Sept. 12 to resolve the matter and the district would “likely be seeking further extensions.”
Sanchez said he wanted to “bring the indignity of this ‘process’ to an end” in a letter to colleagues last week announcing his retirement.
The investigation is regarding two complaints of “unlawful harassment, including on the basis of sex and gender” and allegations that Sanchez “engaged in misconduct pertaining to the Oxnard College Foundation,” according to a statement from district leaders in May.
Sanchez has denied the allegations and said they stemmed from conflicts with Oxnard College Foundation leaders over the foundation’s bureaucratic process for awarding scholarships to students and its funding priorities.
Of the sexual harassment claims, he wrote in his letter to colleagues that he had sent messages to coworkers during his tenure that had been “intemperate, prideful, coarse, flirtatious, or unduly harsh.” But he told the Star he did not believe he did anything that constituted sexual harassment.
College vice president Oscar Cobian is currently serving as acting president.