Search for City College President Underway

By: 
Kirt Ramirez

Long Beach City College is moving closer to getting a new president.

After LBCC Superintendent-President Eloy Ortiz Oakley left the college in December to take the position of Chancellor of the California Community College System, a search for someone to take his place has been underway.

A superintendent-president search committee made up of 22 internal and external participants was approved prior to Oakley leaving by the LBCC Board of Trustees in early November to help find a new president. Former Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and Long Beach Unified School District Superintendent Chris Steinhauser were among those searching for a leader.

Applications for the presidential position were due Jan. 18 and after three search committee meetings – which included selecting and interviewing semifinalists – the committee deliberated and recommended five finalists to the elected Board of Trustees for further attention.

The board interviewed the chosen five during a special closed-session meeting Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Courtyard Marriott Long Beach in Douglas Park.

Though it was a closed-session meeting, the public could speak at the beginning during the public comment time. The special meeting’s date, time and location were released by the college’s communications office via a press release, the college’s homepage and on boarddocs.com two days before the meeting. However, no members of the public attended the 10 a.m., Saturday event.

The door was then closed and board members interviewed the three men and two women presidential finalists; Saddleback President Tod A. Burnett, Ed.D., Los Angeles Harbor College President Otto W.K. Lee, Ed.D., East Los Angeles College President Marvin Martinez, M.A., Executive Adviser to the President at the College of the Marshall Islands Melinda Nish, Ed.D., and President of Harry S. Truman, a city college in Chicago, Reagan F. Romali, Ph.D.

More information about the finalists can be found at LBCC.edu.

The candidates went to LBCC Monday, Feb. 27 to take part in college-wide open forums.

The Board of Trustees will make their pick for president known sometime in March or April.

Ann-Marie Gabel took over the role of president in Oakley’s absence. During a February State of the College address, Gabel said LBCC awarded a record 576 transfer degrees last year in addition to 1,307 Associate degrees and 414 program certificates.

The aged college – which turns 90 this year – continues to make construction improvements. The $850-million construction bond measure, which passed with 64 percent voter support last June, will make the progress possible.

Gabel reported the LBCC Foundation received a major gift of $750,000 recently from the Don Temple Family Charitable Foundation. The donation will help fund Long Beach College Promise scholarships.

The Viking athletics had another rewarding year, and the student newspaper, the Viking News, again was recognized as one of the best community college newspapers in the state, led by faculty adviser Pat McKean.

More than 25,000 students enroll at LBCC’s two-campus college  each semester.

kirt@beachcomber.news

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Beachcomber

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