City College announces finalists for new superintendent-president


Dr. Kenneth Lawson (left) and Dr. Utpal K. Goswami are the two finalists for the position of Superintendent/President at City College. Photo courtesy of City College.

Serena Guentz, News Editor

The Board of Trustees has announced the two final candidates for the superintendent-president position.

Dr. Utpal K. Goswami and Dr. Kenneth Lawson were chosen by the Screening Committee in the final steps of the search for a permanent superintendent-president.

Both Goswami and Lawson will be giving presentations and responding to questions at a community forum on Oct. 24 in the Garvin Theatre. The Board of Trustees will then hold final interviews with both candidates in a closed session on Oct. 25.

“We gratefully thank the committee for the hard work and diligence required to select these two finalists among the 45 applicants,” Board President Robert Miller wrote in an all-campus email.

Interim Superintendent-President Helen Benjamin has been leading City College after former Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe suddenly retired last spring. Applications for the superintendent-president closed on Sept. 16 with 45 applicants from across the nation. 

Goswami currently serves as the President of Metropolitan Community College-Longview in Kansas City, Missouri and has over 30 years of experience in higher education at colleges in Missouri, California, Texas and Arizona. Goswami holds a master’s degree in development economics from Boston University and a doctorate in economics from Southern Methodist University. 

According to the email, Goswami “has proven success in advocating for community college funding, fostering shared governance, launching and completing capital projects, revamping technology platforms, and ensuring institutional compliance with accreditation.”

Lawson is currently the Vice President for Instruction at Skagit Valley College in Washington state and has 20 years of experience in community colleges throughout the state of Washington. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Utah.

Lawson currently “works with faculty and staff at Skagit Valley College to create equitable learning environments, programs responsive to local economic and social needs, and educational pathways designed to increase student success, economic mobility and civic engagement.”

Lawson was named an Aspen Presidential Fellow last April.

Benjamin will step down at the end of this year, with the new superintendent-president taking over on Jan. 1, 2020.