SBCC’s president: Who will it be?

Rhys Alvarado

After six months of searching for City College’s next president, the college has narrowed down the race to four candidates from colleges across the nation.

But only one will be chosen to fill the position.

The college originally had two applicants but after Carlos Campos dropped out to take a position at a university of Virginia, the college decided to add three more contenders last Tuesday–including one current and one former administrator–to the race for City College’s president seat.

The four candidates await Wednesday’s open forum in the Sports Pavilion, where they will introduce themselves, and answer questions from the audience.

Dr. Jack Friedlander

Friedlander, has worked his way up to executive vice president of Educational Programs after 22 years of service at City College.

Before working his current position, Friedlander served as the vice president of Academic Affairs, and as a dean for multiple departments. Friedlander’s accomplishments include giving more than 200 presentations at state and national conferences. His grant proposals have generated more than $4 million.

“People around here know me,” Friedlander said. “The other candidates can make claims, but they have no checks and balances here.”

Before coming to City College, Friedlander served as an administrator at Napa Valley College where he received three promotions in three years.

“I believe that the depth and breadth of experience I’ve had at the college has provided me with the preparation needed to be very successful.”

Andreea Serban

Serban, served as City College’s associate vice president of Informational Technology from 1999-2006, before she took on a position working as the vice chancellor of Technology and Learning Services at South Orange Coast College district.

Serban is looking to apply her background in technology to the learning techniques at City College.

“I want to help the faculty do their jobs in innovative ways,” Serban said. “I want to make the students experience in college extraordinary.”

If selected, Serban said she would be committed to working for the college for the next 20 years.

“Having a long term commitment will help with the stability of the college,” Serban said.

Although Serban works in Orange county, she still owns a home in Santa Barbara and makes frequent visits.

“I don’t need any time to understand the community, because I’ve never lost touch with the community,” Serban said.

Blaine Nisson

Nisson has served as Umpqua Community College in Oregon since the fall of 2004, and has more than 25 years of community college administrative experience. In 2003-2004, he served as the president of the National Association of Community Colleges.

“Those experiences contribute to my ability to run a college,” Nisson said.

He has made successful legislative efforts to secure increased funding for Oregon’s community colleges, and has received community support for a 40 percent expansion of the nursing program at Umpqua.

“I bring to the table the ability to reach out to the community,” Nisson said.

Dr. Jack Bermingham

Bermingham, who is one of the two original finalists for City College’s presidency, serves as the interim chief executive officer at Highline Community College.

Before working at Highline Community College, Bermingham received his doctorate in History from UCSB. In 2005, Bermingham received the Dr. Werner Kubsch Award for his work in international education.

Although Bermingham declined a request for an interview, he wrote in an e-mail to the Channels that he is excited about the possible opportunity to work at City College.

“It is an outstanding institution with an excellent faculty and staff,” Bermingham wrote in the e-mail. “I am flattered that the Search Committee and the Board have chosen me as a finalist, and I look forward to my campus interview next week.”