SDCCD Acting Chancellor Greg Smith presents at the SDCCD Classified Leadership Development Academy Spring/Summer 2023, June 29, 2023. Photo courtesy of SDCCD Flickr
SDCCD Acting Chancellor Greg Smith presents at the SDCCD Classified Leadership Development Academy Spring/Summer 2023, June 29, 2023. Photo courtesy of SDCCD Flickr
David Brooks, SDCCD

New SDCCD chancellor-designate Smith continues work toward district strategic vision

Smith announced at the Dec. 14 board meeting as the new chancellor for state’s second-largest community college district

Following a search process that started in June, the San Diego Community College District’s Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Acting Chancellor Greg Smith as the next chancellor of the district at its Dec. 14 board meeting.

Smith, who started his acting chancellor duties in May when former chancellor Cartos Cortez resigned, will continue as the leader of California’s second-largest community college district, overseeing four colleges serving approximately 100,000 students.

The chancellor-designate will manage a $1 billion district budget facing contracting state revenue for the current fiscal year, which will orient the institution’s administrative efforts to maximizing enrollment and retention to shore up funding sources, while managing the district’s 2023-2030 District Strategic Plan.

Prior to being hired as SDCCD’s vice chancellor of People, Culture, and Technology Services in 2020, Smith served as Shasta Community College’s HR director.

A wide-ranging committee of 27 district stakeholders was assembled to start the official selection process in June, according to the Chancellor Search website.

Among the San Diego City College search committee members were Academic Senate President and Communication Studies Professor María‐José Zeledón‐Pérez, AFT Union President Jim Mahler and Instructional Support Supervisor Majeda Nasrawi.

Academic Search, a higher education executive search services company that organizes search processes, was contracted to recruit and screen chancellor candidates based on the stated needs of the district.

In a phone interview with City Times, Academic Search’s senior consultant Gwen Joseph shared that their primary role was to identify candidates who met the district’s qualifications based on what the board and the search committee communicated. 

“We put together a profile, we put together an ad, and we then used our databases and that information to identify those candidates who would best meet your needs,” Joseph said.

The selection came after Smith’s announcement in November as among three finalists for the position.

The other two finalists included chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District Brian King, and deputy chancellor of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Daisy A. Gonzales.

The SDCCD Board of Trustees and Chancellor Greg Smith listen to former Chancellor Constance Carroll commemorate the district’s 50th anniversary at the Dec. 14, 2023 board meeting. Greg Smith was announced as the new chancellor at the meeting. Photo by Marco Guajardo/City Times Media

The Smith hiring coincided with the district’s 50th anniversary celebration at the board meeting.

The final approval of the appointment and employment contract will be considered by the board at a regular meeting on Jan. 25, according to Board President Maria Nieto Senour.

Update: Bernie Rhinerson was elected president of the San Diego Community College District’s (SDCCD) Board of Trustees at the board’s December 14 organizational meeting after the announcement of Greg Smith as chancellor. Dr. Maria Nieto Senour, was still president at the time of the announcement and will continue her board service over the next year as a vice president.

Donate to City Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Diego City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, cover the cost of training and travel to conferences, and fund student scholarships. Credit card donations are not tax deductible. Instead, those donations must be made by check. Please contact adviser Nicole Vargas for more information at [email protected].

More to Discover
Donate to City Times