Interim SBCC Superintendent-President Dr. Kindred Murillo | Credit: Courtesy

Santa Barbara City College has started looking for a permanent replacement for interim Superintendent-President Kindred Murillo, and a new leader is expected to be chosen before next summer, according to SBCC’s Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications Martha Swanson.

It would be the school’s fifth superintendent-president since 2019.

In early 2019, former superintendent-president Anthony Beebe unexpectedly announced his retirement due to health issues. Helen Benjamin was selected to fill the position on an interim basis while the SBCC Board of Trustees found what it hoped would be a permanent replacement. 

Utpal Goswami was hired for the position in January 2020, but his term would be mired with complications when COVID-19 forced an almost complete campus shutdown. He announced his own retirement just six months later in July 2020.

Benjamin would reprise her role as interim president for another short term, while SBCC searched for another replacement. In August 2021, Murillo was hired for a one-year term — with a contract from September 7, 2021, to September 6, 2022 — while the board of trustees could prepare for a wider search for a long-term replacement.

Swanson said that the college is looking for a “competent, equity-minded leader who excels in complex organizations and is passionate about the comprehensive community college mission.”

“The successful candidate will build on SBCC’s history of providing quality, innovative educational experiences for all students to achieve their highest potential,” she said. “They will also be a visible, active leader in the community and work closely with the SBCC Foundation to enhance relationships and partnerships.”

The current application process will be open through January 20, and the school hopes to select a new president to start in summer 2023.

The SBCC Board of Trustees contracted HSV Consulting — run by former interim president Helen Benjamin — to help conduct the search.

All applications will be reviewed by a 21-person “Screening Committee” co-chaired by SBCC Trustee Anna Everett and SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green.  

The committee will conduct preliminary interviews with applicants and will recommend finalists for the board to review. Finalists will take part in a public forum in March 2023, and the board expects to choose a candidate during an April meeting.

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