Douglas Morse Treadway
Douglas Morse Treadway
  • April 23, 1942 - July 10, 2017
  • Brentwood, California

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An esteemed public servant who tackled his 46-year career as a college president and educator with integrity, Douglas Treadway was also not afraid to let his quick wit and adventurous nature shine, always taking on new projects, such as planning and leading the construction of the world's first Platinum Level LEED college campus, operating a cherry orchard, and donning fake sideburns for an Elvis Presley impersonation at a public concert.

Douglas Morse Treadway, 75, a dedicated husband, father and grandfather and a mentor to fellow administrators, faculty, staff and students, died July 10, 2017, of a heart attack at his home in Brentwood, Calif.

Treadway was a visionary leader in the world of higher education. His career as a college president began in 1985 at Western Montana College and continued with serving as president of Southwest State University in Minnesota from 1987-94, chancellor of the North Dakota University System from 1991-94, president/superintendent of Shasta College (Redding, Calif.), from 1994-2003, and president/superintendent of Ohlone College (Fremont, Calif.) from 2003-2008.

Walk through his home, and you'll immediately see the mark he left on that world. Awards of excellence, personal gifts, and other mementoes from his leadership work in higher education show that Treadway was respected by many throughout the nation and the world.

The admiration was well-deserved. As president/superintendent of Ohlone - his most recent tenure in a full-time public service position - he led the college in construction of the world's first Green College Campus at its Newark Campus. The campus achieved a Platinum Level of the Leadership in Environmental and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council.

At Ohlone, he was regarded for his shared governance approach and brought true meaning to the school's slogan: "World of Cultures United in Learning." He developed a robust international studies program, including the establishment of the International Educational Exchange and Training Center in Suzhou, China. Enrollment at Ohlone grew by 10 percent under his leadership.

"Dr. Treadway pursued many opportunities, keeping Ohlone students at the heart of his every effort. His numerous and notable innovations and accomplishments earned the respect and admiration of the community, Ohlone students, college faculty, staff, and administration," states a profile published in February 2017 for the college's 50th anniversary.

Treadway had a deep appreciation for and understanding of diverse races and cultures, and in a 2006 speech titled "The Global Community College, he stated: "All of our classes and lessons in colleges and universities are important, but none more

important today than those which inculcate in our students an awareness and a frame of reference brought about through the subject matter of global environment, languages and culture and peace studies."

With his wife Carole (Culp) Treadway, he fostered that sentiment on a personal level by welcoming international exchange students and foster kids into their home throughout the years.

Environmental stewardship was a guiding principle for Treadway during his tenure in higher education and his subsequent work as a consultant specializing in the assessment and design of innovative new learning systems for schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S. and abroad. In this capacity, he worked as the director for the Community College Leadership Development Institute and visiting professor at the University of San Diego; coordinator of extension in China for the University of California Berkeley; interim president of San Jose City College and interim chancellor of San Jose/Evergreen College District; founding president/provost of Xing Wei College in Shanghai, China, and founding provost of International Horizons College in Dubai, UAE, where he also served on the IHC Board of Trustees. He retired from private consulting in 2014.

Treadway's enterprising spirit did not end at the walls of academia, however. He was up for any challenge and built three homes, purchased and ran a commercial cherry orchard, raised horses and figured out how to fix almost anything.

He was passionate about the outdoors, and his hobbies included swimming, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting and playing sports. His children, Christine and Marty, speak excitedly - perhaps with a bit of guarded tension - of the many adventures and near misses experienced during their growing years. There was the time he built a canoe by hand in the family's front yard and set sail across Wolf Creek Reservoir in eastern Oregon. There were the annual hunting trips with his son by horseback. There are tales of flat tires in the middle of nowhere and horses running spooked down steep hillsides.

"Well, that was one for 'The Adventure Book,'" he was known to say. His son, Marty, likened his father's can-do attitude to that of the character Gimli, a Dwarf warrior in Lord of the Rings, who says: "Certainty of death, small chance of success . what are we waiting for?"

Treadway recently embarked on an adventure of a different nature - diving into disciplined research to trace the family ancestry. When that was done, he organized a roots vacation to England, Ireland and Scotland, which took place in summer 2016 with his wife, children and two grandsons.

Treadway's life story began on April 23, 1942, when he was born to Clifton and Lillian (Lindsey) Treadway in San Diego, Calif. He attended Woodbury College in Los Angeles, where he majored in accounting, but felt called to the ministry in the Methodist Church and transferred to Cal Western University in San Diego where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences in 1964.

While at CWU, he met Carole Rae Culp and they were married on June 5, 1964, in San Diego. The couple moved to Riverside, where Doug worked as a Riverside County Social Worker. He went on to serve as a minister and graduated from Claremont School of Theology with a master's degree in theology in June 1967. From 1967-69, he also was licensed in California as a