Two finalists have been selected for consideration as the next superintendent and president of Santa Barbara City College.
The finalists are Dr. Utpal K. Goswami, current president of Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, MO, and Dr. Kenneth Lawson, current vice president of instruction at Skagit Valley College in Washington state.
Community forums will be held Oct. 24 with each finalist. The forums will be held at the SBCC Garvin Theatre. SBCC employees, students and members of the community are invited to attend, according to Luz Reyes-Martin, college spokeswoman.
During the forums, each finalist will give an opening statement and respond to questions from the audience. Dr. Goswami will hold his forum at 1 p.m. and Dr. Lawson will have his forum at 2 p.m. Parking for the forums will be available at the West Campus entrance off Cliff Drive.
The forum will be live streamed for those unable to attend. A video recording will also be available on the college’s website following the event.
“Anyone wishing to submit a comment to the Board on the finalists will have the opportunity to do so through an electronic comment form,” Ms. Reyes-Martin said in a statement. “The public is encouraged to submit their comments as soon as possible so that the Board of Trustees can consider the important feedback in their interviews the day following the Forum.”
City College has been searching for a successor to Dr. Anthony Beebe, who retired earlier this year due to medical issues. Dr. Helen Benjamin was named interim president and superintendent in the spring, coming out of retirement to serve in this capacity. Dr. Benjamin is expected to remain with the school through December.
The SBCC Board of Trustees has established a screening committee with representatives of internal and external groups. The committee was tasked with screening applications and recommending finalists to the board for consideration. The nationwide search was conducted by national executive search and management consulting firm, ACCT, to recruit candidates.
The SBCC Board of Trustees will hold final interviews in a closed session Oct. 25.
Dr. Goswami has more than three decades of higher education experience at colleges and universities in Texas, California, Arizona and Missouri. Prior to joining Metropolitan Community College, Dr. Goswami held various positions including vice president of instruction and interim president and superintendent at College of the Redwoods.
“His leadership philosophy is to create environments where others can be successful,” Ms. Reyes-Martin said. “He takes pride in the fact that by empowering people he has been able to create exceptional teams to drive positive outcomes for students. He considers being able to personalize the learning experience as the ultimate institutional challenge and opportunity.”
Dr. Goswami holds a master’s degree in development economics from Boston University and both a master’s degree and doctoral degree in economics from Southern Methodist University.
Dr. Lawson has 20 years of experience working in community colleges. He joined Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, WA, as a full-time faculty in political science in 2001 and was later elected by his peers to serve as dean. He also served as dean of humanities and social sciences at Seattle Central College before moving to SVC.
“He currently works with faculty and staff at Skagit Valley College to create equitable learning environments, programs responsive to local economic and social needs, and educational pathways designed to increase student success, economic mobility, and civic engagement,” Ms. Reyes-Martin said. “Dr. Lawson has helped lead Skagit Valley College’s strategy to improve student learning and success through the implementation of a comprehensive guided pathways approach, placing equity at the center of the effort. He was recently named as an Aspen Presidential Fellow.”
Dr. Lawson has a doctorate in political science from the University of Washington, and a master of arts degree in political science from the University of Utah, where he also earned his baccalaureate.For more information about the search process, visit www.presidentssearch.sbcc.edu/presidentsearch/.