After a six-month search that fielded 42 applicants, the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees has selected the school’s next leader. Starting July 1, Dr. Anthony Beebe will take the helm of the 107-year-old institution, replacing President Lori Gaskin, who announced her retirement last fall. Beebe has 20 years of experience in leadership roles at various community colleges, most recently as president of San Diego City College.
At a candidate forum on April 25, Beebe cited enrollment and financial management as the college’s pressing issues, adding, “Reconnecting with the community is really a critical, critical piece.” Beebe will step into ongoing challenges involving disruptive student behavior in the surrounding Mesa neighborhoods, a severe lack of housing, and a drop in enrollment.
“Dr. Beebe … understands that SBCC is the community’s college,” board President Marsha Croninger said in a statement. “I am confident that under his leadership SBCC will further enhance its tradition of academic excellence while building upon its outreach to the community for the collective benefit of all.”
Beebe grew up on a farm in Oregon and was a firefighter when he discovered his educational path while training recruits. He holds a doctor of education degree from Oregon State University, an MBA from CSU Sacramento, a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Oregon, and an A.A. from Oregon’s Lane Community College. He is currently completing a second doctoral program with Santa Barbara’s Fielding Graduate University.