Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President title=
Dr. Helen Benjamin (courtesy photo)
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Source: Santa Barbara City College

At its July 14 board retreat, the SBCC Board of Trustees announced a board motion to appoint Dr. Helen Benjamin as interim Superintendent/President pending final approval at the July 22 board meeting. The appointment is for six weeks. Dr. Benjamin came out of retirement and previously served as interim Superintendent/President at SBCC for several months in the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2019. She will do so again in the same capacity.
Dr. Benjamin was chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District from 2005 until her retirement in December 2016. She began her career at the District in 1990 when she joined Los Medanos College as dean of language arts and humanistic studies and related occupations, and has held progressively higher-level positions, including District vice chancellor, educational programs and services; interim president of Los Medanos College; and president of Contra Costa College.
Dr. Benjamin has a Bachelor of Science in English and Spanish from Bishop College in Texas where she graduated magna cum laude, and she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas.
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Byzantium Jul 15, 2021 01:35 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

She will essentially be baby-sitting the college for six whole weeks. How much did this latest board tiff cost the taxpayers? She left a to-do list the last time she was here - will heads roll if her consultant-expense list of recommendations was not carried out? Keep the pressure on, even if here only for six weeks Ms Benjamin.

Kew Jul 15, 2021 03:15 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

And, while we're playing academic musical chairs, where is School of Extended Learning's VP, Joyce E, Coleman? Out of the office since March 23, 2021, still on paid administrative leave? Joyce, where are you? Who's minding the store? Coleman, Goswami, Benjamin, et al, all carpetbaggers. You don't give a whit about student success! It's just a script you regurgitate at every campus hiring session. You hang your hat until things sour. Truth be told, you only care about your own financial success. It's a game that you play at the expense of tax payers, Dr, Benjamin, do enjoy your shopping spree!

Byzantium Jul 15, 2021 06:02 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

No point going national since the entire state of California higher ed system has such a bad reputation - unless you are uber-dysfunctional yourself. Get your moving expenses paid and then retire in California is the last motivator now. This never should have happened - this state used to be the best, the very best. Now it is bad joke. Taxpayers, stop putting up with this. You, as Prop 98 voters, already agreed to give K-12 and community colleges 50% of all state general tax revenues. Off the top, automatic. Look what they have given you in return. Put this issue on Newsom's lap when you vote for his recall, though he inherited it because the decline has been going on for a few decades . But Newsom did not lift a finger to fix anything. Calif higher ed rotted itself from the inside out. People who hate their jobs, but demand full payment with no accountability for outcomes - that is about as low as things can go. Just shovel them more money. Taxpayers revolted and passed Prop 13. Schools demanded Prop 98 to guarantee their 50% share of the new "lower" tax rates - so what does that bring in this year ..... in this "fifth largest economy in the world". Yet all we hear from our public education system is we need more money. No, we need more results to prove you are worth it. Make this happen again. We got it right once. Do what needs to be done and bring back the luster to California higher ed.....for California residents.

ChillinGrillin Jul 16, 2021 10:27 AM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

Lmao @ Byzantium. The News Press should give you a column so you can whine about problems that don't exist and blame people without offering alternatives. I mean the idea that CA higher education is terrible and it's Newsom's fault? Oh yeah, that's why UC schools produce world-class research and attract so many students. UCLA, Berkeley, UCSB Physics....it's liberal indoctrination! Lmao. That's a doozy right there. Yeah, let's recall the Governor and elect Kaitlyn Jenner or the old has-been with the dancing bear. That seems like a good plan! Lol

Byzantium Jul 16, 2021 02:43 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

You nailed it chillin: our public higher education system is now little more than "world class research" institutions for private funding purposes. I am talking about our state public higher education system for California residents. Who now benefit very little from these "world class research centers" as undergrad students, who leave with few meaningful educational skills to carry them through the rest of their lives. Campus undergraduate radicalism has yet to prove its worth over time. "World Class" UCSB needs a little more town and gown connection and let us know exactly what benefits they are providing this community, well over-burdened by its presence.

a-1626453886 Jul 16, 2021 09:44 AM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

If the Board of Trustees changes, the college could change and hopefully improve. SBCC is a dysfunctional institution and the problem is with the elected Board. They squabble, they rant, they are confused, they are constantly in a state of crises management, they are ineffectual. Not surprising that popular programs such as the Adult Education programs are minimized, using excuses (it's the state's fault!) instead of finding solutions (ie: if full professors need to teach for pay adult pottery, or music programs that were successful in the past, find retired profs and keep the programs), that students stay for years without graduating, and that leadership at the top disappears after a few years. This is a short list of issues at our formerly beloved and respected community college. New leadership at the Trustee level is needed for the college to improve.

Byzantium Jul 16, 2021 11:22 AM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

Chillin: Removing student entrance requirements, decreasing academic curriculum standards, creation of non-viable esoteric majors, and increasing dependence upon foreign student revenues is not the sign of a healthy public education system. Welcome to California higher ed.

Henry Sarria Jul 16, 2021 12:23 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

An opinion from an IV local, but what the hell. The problem I personally see w/ SBCC is their drive to bring in students from out of the district & out of the state.
As for the out of state thing, yeah, I get it, unlike CA residents who only pay 1/3 of the tuition, as their taxes cover the other 2/3, the out of state students have to pay the full amount.
But then there's the out of district from within the state. It's almost as if they're saying there's no community colleges in their areas. Hmmmm... Los Angles, Anaheim, Van Nuys, San Diego, etc. You mean to tell me there's no CC's in those (& other metropolitan) areas?
1 of the reasons they bring in out of district students is to build up their sports programs & I'm like "Uh, dude, it's NOT a PAC10 school! WTF?!"
We had some Vaquero basketball team members living behind us a few years ago, it was a nightmare, they were a clear criminal element, lots of visits by the IV Foot Patrol & just trouble.
Which now leads to the other noticeable issue & that's SBCC students livin' in IV, a considrable distance from the very campus they're supposed to be attending. The majority of those are, sadly enough, trouble.
Maybe SBCC should try focusing on providing a decent education for the people from the area they purport to cater to: Santa Barbara Community.
So much time, effort & $$$ spent to cater to an out of district contingent that could otherwise be used for the Santa Barbara community they claim to serve.
I know there's incentives for the locals to attend SBCC, but honestly, I don't see any outreach to the local community by SBCC or their admin.
Like I said above, just an opinion on my behalf, but some things, while an opinion, they stand out like a sore thumb.

Kew Jul 16, 2021 02:12 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

Truth be told, most high schoolers can't do the academic work required of them at SBCC. Reading comprehension, writing and basic math will be required in large doses. Large doses! Dear parents, please pay attention to what your kids are learning in grammar, middle and high school. Many are taking non-college prep classes and getting by with Cs. Yes, you've seen them. Cs! This means that they sat in class for 12 years and understood only half of what was expected. Then, upon HS graduation . . . and a really big party, they enroll in a CC and are completley overwhelmed on Day 1. At that point it's too late to go back to the third grade. Instructors at CC , most of whom are adjunct status these days, are too afraid to give failing grades because it's highly likely that it will result in a negative review on Rate My Professor. With lousy grades, most students drop out in a year or two with no plan B. Time to hunker down kids, live two more years with your folks after high school and go Vocational. Believe me, your folks will be proud. And now, you can party again.

JB86 Jul 19, 2021 08:06 PM
Dr. Helen Benjamin to Serve as Interim SBCC President

So sad. I long for the days of Peter MacDougal running the place. He was a class act, who knew how to navigate politics and run a sound administration. I'm afraid they don't make 'em like that anymore.

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