The Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees unanimously selected Dr. Utpal K. Goswami as the college’s new superintendent/president Friday. Goswami will finish his role as president of MCC-Longview in the Metropolitan Community College district in Kansas City, Missouri before beginning his new role at SBCC in January 2020.
“Dr. Goswami brings a depth of experience, and we are certain that he will move Santa Barbara City College forward,” Board President Robert Miller said. “He is a proven leader with a commitment to students and their success.”
Goswami, who comes with over 30 years of experience working in community colleges, is stepping into his new role at one of SBCC’s most challenging times. In the past year and a half, the college has endured blow after blow of racial and gender controversies, a dropping campus morale and trust in administration, and a $3.2 million budget deficit.
Goswami was picked from a pool of national candidates because he is the most equipped to quell these tensions and move the college forward. More specifically, Board President Miller said Goswami was picked because of his “experience, leadership, fiscal expertise, experience working in diverse communities, and his commitment to educational programs.”
“We are confident that he will build collaborative relationships on campus and in the community,” Miller said.
Friday’s decision concluded a nearly year-long search for former Superintendent/President Dr. Anthony Beebe’s replacement, who abruptly announced his early retirement for health reasons in February 2019. Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Helen Benjamin has been leading the charge since Beebe left, and will conclude her interim role this December.
A 17-person screening committee made up of campus and community members recommended Goswami as one of two finalists from a pool of over 30 candidates. Public forums were held for the public to ask them questions and submit comments to the Board of Trustees on Thursday, October 24 before the Board held in-person interviews in closed session the following day and selected Goswami.
The Board will meet to discuss and finalize Goswami’s employment contract negotiations at the next board meeting on November 14, 2019.