SWC President Melinda Nish is job hunting and is a finalist for the presidency of Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Earlier this semester Nish was a finalist for the position of chancellor at the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD).
“The Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees released last night (April 14) publicly their list of five finalists and I am one of the five finalists,” she said. “The recruitment is in process right now and I don’t think I can comment further than I am a finalist for the superintendent/presidency.”
In mid-February, Nish had been one of five finalist for chancellor of NOCCCD, but was not hired.
“I don’t think there’s an issue with my contract and it isn’t a problem that I didn’t get what I wanted in my contract, so I decided to apply for another job,” she said in February. “The reason I applied for this job is, honestly, it is a huge promotional opportunity to go from a superintendent/president to a chancellor and there aren’t very many districts that I would want to do that.”
SWC Trustee Humberto Peraza said Nish had talked to the governing board about her application.
“She had applied to a job before and I supported her then and I support her now,” said Peraza. “I would not want to deprive anyone, whether they are a president, vice president, dean or faculty, from advancing in their careers. I wish her luck.”
Trustee Tim Nader said he supports Nish in her professional endeavors.
“These are not lifetime positions and I think it’s pretty normal to explore other positions,” he said. “Santa Barbara is an unusually well-regarded community college and I wish her well.”
Even though SBCC is not offering Nish a chancellor position, it was awarded the biennial Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2013 as one of the best in the nation.
Trustee Griselda Delgado said there are pros and cons to Nish job hunting.
“I wish her luck and I’m excited for her, but at the same time, we’re going to have to work really hard at some point to find someone replace her,” she said. “If she does get it, it probably won’t be until July 1, so we’ll have some time to find an interim (president).”
Dr. Lori Gaskin, the current SBCC president, announced he will retire on August 1. SBCC’s board is conducting a nationwide search by Community College Search Services. The SBCC board of trustees is expected to appoint a new superintendent/president before July 1.
“Whatever happens, I’m happy for her,” said Delgado. “I know she has a very solid career and I now she wants to pursue that next level of community college administrator and we’ll see what happens.”