SBCC’s chief Dr. Lori Gaskin retiring at end of school year

Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin (right) and Dean Dr. Alice Scharper sing in 2013. Gaskin will be retiring at the end of the school year.

Justin Covington

Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin (right) and Dean Dr. Alice Perez sing in 2013. Gaskin will be retiring at the end of the school year.

MEGAN RANDOLPH, News Editor

Superintendent-President Dr. Lori Gaskin announced her plans to retire at the end of the year after 35 years working in the Community College system.

Student Trustee Tyler Gibson recalled being shocked at her kindness after running into Gaskin at a Starbucks several months ago.

“She was totally in an in-depth meeting with somebody and she paused the whole thing because a student walked in,” Gibson said. “She said, ‘Hey how are you doing, how are classes going? So thankful to have you at SBCC.’ [She is] just one of the most gracious people that I’ve been able to meet in leadership here.”

Before becoming president of City College in 2012, Gaskin worked in leadership roles at West Valley College in Saratoga and Lake Tahoe Community College. She started her career in the community college system working as an earth science teacher at Barstow Community College, where she taught in the fields of geography, geology and mathematics.

“I see Lori Gaskin and I wanna be that, one day, I want to be that type of leader,” said Gibson. “She loves the students, she responds to personal emails from students and that’s something that I don’t know happens at other institutions.”

Liz Auchincloss, president of the Classified Staff Employees’ Association, said she thinks that her inclusivity is the best thing Gaskin brought to City College.

She said that Gaskin has handled tough times, showing leadership after the Isla Vista tragedy, improving campus security and even starting a bowling league that has helped bring people together.

“That’s an example of what she’s done to break down the barriers between the groups,” said Auchincloss. “Because we have staff, we have faculty, we have administrators, we have some students. You interact with people on a different level when you’re doing a social activity like that than you do at work.”

She also cited Gaskin’s entry into the college, replacing an interim president and bringing fresh perspective to the campus. Having never worked with City College, Auchincloss said that Gaskin helped the college “see themselves in new eyes.”

“She came to the college at a hard time for us, the board had pretty much fired our previous president and then we had an interim president, Jack Friedlander, and she’s really worked on bringing everybody together,” said Auchincloss. “So she came to a divided school and she’s really worked on bringing everybody together.”