Santa Barbara City College (above) and Santa Barbara Unified have been collaborating since 1998 to offer dual enrollment to high school students. | Credit: Courtesy

Last month, Santa Barbara City College announced three finalists in their search for a new superintendent-president. But by the end of March, the school’s Board of Trustees decided to extend the search process and reopen applications for the position until April 16. 

SBCC board president Jonathan Abboud said that while he could not comment on the board’s closed-session deliberations, they extended the process in order to do their “due diligence.”

 “We want to take our time to choose the best possible candidate to lead Santa Barbara City College forward,” he said.

Former finalists have the opportunity to reapply, but like any new candidates, they’ll have to go through more rounds of screening, meetings with campus groups and interim-superintendent Kindred Murillo, board interviews, and public feedback forums.

According to Abboud, more than 100 people submitted feedback on every side of the issue, sometimes sending in paragraphs of information about the selection process or the former finalists: Erika Endrijonas, PhD, the current superintendent-president of Pasadena City College; Richard Storti, EdD, the current executive vice chancellor of San Mateo County Community College District; and Katrina VanderWoude, EdD, the current vice chancellor of Los Angeles Community College District.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Before even meeting with the candidates, the board conducted a series of background and reference checks to inform the interview process. “We asked them the tough questions,” Abboud said.

The school has been scouring for a new superintendent-president since July 2021, following former superintendent-president Dr. Utpal Goswami’s resignation. Once they find the perfect appointee that meets their desired qualifications, that person will be the fifth to fill the role since 2019. 

Abboud said they hope to finish the process and select their new top candidate by the week of May 15, before the end of the spring 2023 term on May 20. The tentative start date for the selected appointee is planned for July 1.


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