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Three Finalists Is Race For SMC’s Top Job:

Santa Monica College announced last week that its Presidential Search Committee has forwarded the names of three candidates to the Board of Trustees for consideration as finalists for college president.

The three are Dr. Deborah Blue, vice president of policy and research for the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in Novato, Dr. G. Jeremiah Ryan, president of Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey, and Dr. Chui Tsang, president of San Jose City College.

Each of them will spend a full day on campus being interviewed by the Board and appearing at public forums to speak and answer questions. The forums will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, November 14, 15 and 16.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank the Presidential Search Committee for its hard and conscientious work and for the many hours devoted to this important task,” said SMC Board of Trustees Chair Carole Currey.

The recommendations to the Board of Trustees signify a major step forward in the college’s search for a successor to Dr. Piedad Robertson, who left in January to become president of the Denver-based Education Commission of the States. Soon after that, the board appointed SMC executive vice president, Dr. Thomas J. Donner, interim president and began the search.

SMC made a national search that included mailings, email lists, and advertising in a variety of publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Women in Higher Education, Asian Week, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education and Black Careers.

The Presidential Search Committee, comprised of SMC employees, students and Santa Monica residents, screened applications and interviewed semi-finalists for the position.

Robertson’s tenure was marked by controversy. While the college added several satellite campuses, and built a number of new buildings on the main campus, it cut several popular vocational programs and laid off numbers of teachers and employees.In a vote taken some months before she resigned to take the Denver job, 86 percent of the faculty and employees voted “No Confidence in Robertson.”

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