After serving a little over a year as Los Angeles Community College District chancellor, Darroch “Rocky” Young has announced he is leaving his $230,000 position to return to teaching part-time. Young, 58, announced his retirement at a board of trustees meeting, then later through an e-mail sent districtwide late last week. He said he would retire in August to return to teaching business courses, preferably at Pierce College, where he was president for four years. He began his career teaching introductory business courses at Santa Monica Community College. “It has been difficult for me, after 36 years in community colleges, to not be on a college campus,” he wrote in the e-mail. “I miss the infusion of energy from daily interaction with faculty and students.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Young was named chancellor of the nine-college Los Angeles Community College District in May 2005 after serving a year as senior vice chancellor for the district and four years as Pierce College president. Young said his decision was based on personal reasons, including long commutes and a need to spend more time with his wife and 94-year-old mother. But Monday he said he plans to continue working on various goals he had outlined when he became chancellor, including boosting enrollment – figures already are up districtwide this fall – improving retention and reaching out to the estimated 90,000 people between the ages of 16-24 without high school diplomas. He also said he hopes to see a resolution at Los Angeles Mission College, where expansion plans have been on hold. An environmental impact report on its expansion project has just been released, and the community will have a chance to view the plans Wednesday at the college. “I don’t intend to coast at all in the next 10 months,” he said. “Now I feel a certain urgency. I really do believe I can get to everything by August.” In a memo sent districtwide, board of trustees President Michael Waxman praised Young’s leadership, saying he left a legacy. The board is expected in the next few weeks to discuss a nationwide recruitment effort to seek a replacement. Young’s announcement, however, left colleagues surprised. “Everyone was absolutely stunned when he made the announcement,” said Robert Garber, president of Pierce College. “He’s really one of a kind in terms of community college leadership. Looking around the district and the state, it’s hard to imagine anyone filling those shoes the way Rocky filled them.” Others said Young worked well with the faculty guild, and was willing to seek solutions. “I think that Rocky was pretty universally respected and admired by faculty and the district,” said Carl Friedlander, president of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild. “I don’t think I can think of anybody who has any serious criticism of him. We’re certainly sad to see him leave.” [email protected] (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!