City to have interim president for a year

Beatriz Merced

Now that it’s been announced that Anthony Beebe will be departing to lead Santa Barbara City College, the question is: Who will be City College’s next president?

On May 3, the Santa Barbara City College board of trustees announced that they had selected Beebee to be their new superintendent/president, effective July 1. Beebe had served as City College’s president for 21 months.

The Office of the Chancellor released a statement stating that the Vice President of Student Services, Denise Whisenhunt, will serve as president upon Beebe’s departure.

City College will begin the process to select an interim president who will serve shortly after July 1 and be in that position for a year.

In the meantime, the Chancellor’s Office will begin the recruitment process for the president, who should take office around July 1, 2017.

Trustee Peter Zschiesche said the district’s Vice Chancellor for Instructional Services and Planning, Stephanie Bulger, will lead the search committee.

Zschiesche added, “I can assure you and all the SDCC community that our Board intends to select the best possible candidate that applies.” He said City College has a very good reputation around the country, and he’s expecting some good candidates to apply.

The year ahead is an important year for City College. The accreditation review is to be held during March 2017, and City College is not planning to have the permanent president position filled by then.

“Given that the academic year is almost at an end, this change means that we must move quickly to organize the process for replacement in order to ensure the stability and progress of this great college, especially as the college approaches its important accreditation review in the coming year,” said Carroll.

ASG President Laura Benavides said she thinks that the fact that City College won’t have a permanent president during the review won’t reflect negatively on the campus. She said the district is well respected and “the Chancellor has done wonderful job for City College.”

Benavides spoke about Beebe’s time leading City.

“Beebe had an open door policy for students on Tuesdays. He was open and listened to the student body,” she said. “It will be difficult to find a another president like Beebe.”

Dean of Health and Athletics, Randall A. Barnes, also shared his thoughts on Beebe.

“President Beebe has been a great leader and friend, and I’m sorry to see him go. I wish him all the best in the future.”

Benavides said that, knowing the board members and their expectations for City College, they will make sure to find a leader who shares the college’s values. “For example our social justice ideals,” she said.

“It’s going to take someone who is open-minded and a risk taker to take on the president position at City College,” Benavidez added.