SBCC Announces Superintendent/President Finalists

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SBCC Announces Superintendent/President Finalists
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Dr. Utpal K. Goswami and Dr. Kenneth Lawson

Source: Santa Barbara City College

Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) announces the selection of two finalists for the position of Superintendent/President. The finalists for the position are Utpal K. Goswami, Ph.D., current President of Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City in Missouri and Kenneth Lawson, Ph.D., current Vice President of Instruction at Skagit Valley College in Washington State. 
 
Community Forums are planned for the afternoon of Thursday, October 24, 2019 with each finalist. The Forums will take place at the SBCC Garvin Theatre. SBCC employees, students and interested community members are invited to attend the forum. Parking will be available via the West Campus Entrance off Cliff Drive (Campus Map). 

About the Community Forums

Finalists being considered for the Superintendent/President position will be in attendance at the forums. Each finalist will have the opportunity to give an opening statement and respond to questions from attendees. Dr. Goswami will have his Forum at 1:00 PM and Dr. Lawson will have his forum at 2:00 PM. 
 
The Forum will be live streamed for anyone unable to attend. A link to the live streamed event will be available on the College website and Social Media pages. A video recording of the Forum will also be available on the College 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. The public is encouraged to submit their comments as soon as possible so that the Board of Trustees can consider this important feedback in their interviews the day following the Forum. 
 
Please check the College website or Facebook page for up-to-date information on the Forum and how to submit comments. 
 
SBCC has been on a search for a successor to Dr. Anthony E. Beebe who retired earlier in 2019. SBCC has been led by Interim Superintendent/President, Dr. Helen Benjamin since Spring 2019. Dr. Benjamin came out of retirement to serve in this temporary capacity. The SBCC Board of Trustees established a screening committee with representatives of internal and external constituency groups. This committee was tasked with screening applications and recommending finalists to the Board for consideration. An extensive 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 on October 25, 2019. 

For more information about the Superintendent/President Search, please visit the Search Committee website
 
About the Finalists

Below are brief biographies of the finalists. Their full bios can be found at presidentssearch.sbcc.edu
 
Dr. Utpal K. Goswami brings more than three decades of higher education experience at colleges and universities in Texas, California, Arizona and Missouri. Dr. Goswami currently serves as President of Metropolitan Community College - Kansas City (MCC). Prior to this, Dr. Goswami held various positions including as Vice President of Instruction and as interim President/Superintendent at College of the Redwoods in California. 

His leadership philosophy is to create environments where others can be successful. 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 has been actively involved in statewide advocacy and initiatives during his tenure at MCC.  Dr. Goswami has proven success in advocating for community college funding, fostering shared governance, launching and completing capital projects, revamping technology platforms and in ensuring institutional compliance with accreditation. 

Dr. Goswami holds a master’s degree in development economics from Boston University and both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in economics from Southern Methodist University. Being a proponent of work-life balance he pursues numerous hobbies and activities in his spare time. Dr Goswami and his wife are proud parents of two adult children and enjoys playtime with two young grandchildren.

Dr. Kenneth Lawson has 20 years of experience working in community colleges. He currently serves as Vice President for Instruction at Skagit Valley College in Washington State. He joined Shoreline Community College (Shoreline, WA) as a full-time Faculty in Political Science in 2001 and was later elected by his peers to serve as a Dean. Dr. Lawson also served as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Seattle Central College before moving to Skagit Valley College. 

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.  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.

Born in Southern California, Dr. Lawson has family connections to the Santa Barbara area. He enjoys spending time with his family, being in the outdoors, listening to an eclectic mix of music, and playing sports.

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.

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a-1573559637 Oct 20, 2019 01:59 AM
SBCC Announces Superintendent/President Finalists

That Washington one is a real gem. We don’t need education equity help thank you very much, as anyone who graduates can get in. Try to make the community college better able to prepare these kids for the working world or higher education because our high schools surely did not.

RHS Oct 19, 2019 09:10 AM
SBCC Announces Superintendent/President Finalists

As noted, it is fashionable in these hiring "searches" to bring in people from outside the community, as though they will have a fresh take on things. This is encouraged by the companies being paid big bucks for recruitment. In fact, most of these candidates are self-promoters more interested in feathering their nest with bigger retirement and salary than in doing the job. In many cases they have to move on because they have so offended the people they were working for before. Somehow, by the way, it is taken as a badge of desirability that the candidate has negative reviews in her or his present job: proof of toughness! It is also a way to avoid selecting a local candidate who may be seen as part of a partisan faction which would seemingly tie the selectors to that group. Pretty obviously, the problems of SBCC are local and we should have a new leader with an understanding of our local circumstances. Neither of these candidates can speak to the forces pushing expansion of the college or of the local issues regarding student housing, for example.

REX OF SB Oct 18, 2019 02:25 PM
SBCC Announces Superintendent/President Finalists

I guess there's never anyone local they can hire for these positions? Yeah, and look how well THAT always works out. Once hired, you can't get rid of them fast enough after they start buggering things up. Which they always seem to do.

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