The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Erika Endrijonas is hoping to provide stability as she comes back to SBCC

Claire Geriak
Erika Endrijonas now serves as City College’s superintendent-president since Aug. 1. Endrijonas is getting back into the loop of things at City College after returning to the campus since her departure in 2009.

Erika Endrijonas has made the president’s office, located in room A110, her own space. 

Inside the room, tall stacks of loose paper fill her large brown desk, but the new president-superintendent sits unintimidated by the massive piles of work that surround her. 

Endrijonas began her college career at Cal State Northridge, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in history. Soon after, she attended the University of Southern California and received her master’s degree and doctorate of philosophy  in history, specializing in 19th and 20th century women’s history.

With her time spent in graduate school, Endrijonas realized she didn’t want to be a tenure track faculty member, but work in education. 

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She chose to take the path of becoming an academic advisor, gaining experience in being on the student services side of education.

When she was in graduate school, her partner wanted to go back to college to practice law, so the two moved to Vermont. During that time, Endrijonas worked at Granite State College as a learner services coordinator. In her role, she worked with adults going back to college. Her responsibilities included recruiting people to the college, evaluating their transcripts, doing their financial aid, career counseling, advising them, and graduating them. 

During this time she was writing her dissertation for her phD. After she finished, Endrijonas worked for a year and a half in Atlanta at Oglethorpe University as the assistant dean and director of their colleges for adults returning to college. 

She and her partner deeply missed California, so they made the move to return to the West Coast. Endrijonas worked for a short amount of time at the Union Institute and University, and then worked at City College in 2000-2009 as the career and technical dean. During that time, she oversaw the business division, the technologies division, the health and human services division, the children’s center, the culinary school, and applied for all of the school’s federal and state grants. 

After that period of time, Endrijonas went to Oxnard college in the Ventura district and served as the executive vice president there from 2009-2014. Immediately after her term, she was appointed the president of Los Angeles Valley College from 2014-2019. Just before her return to City College, she served as superintendent-president at Pasadena City College from 2019-2023.  

Endrijonas found motivation to apply for a job at City College due the influence of  Tom Mahoney. He was a faculty member with whom she worked closely with during her time at the LA campus at the Union Institute University. Mahoney got a job at City College as the administration of justice faculty member in 1999, and after some encouragement, Endrijonas applied for president. 

Later, Peter MacDougall, a former president of City College for 21 years, sent Endrijonas to the Asilomar Women’s Leadership Conference. According to Endrijonas, this was the moment she realized she could be the president of a school if she wanted to be. 

The new president’s number one goal is to instill confidence and stability within the students, as well as finalizing the strategic plan, which started over a year ago. All that’s left to do is finalize, get board approval, and link it with the educational vision plan, she says. Endrijonas also hopes to stabilize enrollment numbers, as City College is currently struggling with dropping enrollment. Furthermore, she would like to see the education board apply for bonds for certain projects, like replacing aging buildings on campus. 

“I’m like the cream filling in the oreo cookie,” Endrijonas said. “As the superintendent president I have two jobs really. I’m the president of the college and I work with the college to move it forward, but I’m also the superintendent of the district which means I work with the board of trustees.” 

Endrijonas knew Kindred Murillo, SBCC’s outgoing interim superintendent-president, as the two had served together on the California Community College Athletic Association Board and had been at CEO conferences for nine years together.

The board at City College wanted to make sure the transition between the two went smoothly, so the two presidents worked together for a whole month before Murillo officially retired. 

Endrijonas expressed gratitude for this because in the past she did not feel as supported by colleges as she does here.  

“Getting to come back here as a president is really a full circle moment,” she said. “I started my career in the community colleges and to get to come back here is just really special.”

Correction: Oct. 3

A previous version of this story spelled Peter MacDougall’s name as “Mcduggle.” The spelling has been corrected on Oct. 3. The Channels regrets this error. 

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