April 2, 2024
You are here:  Home  >  Latest news  >  Current Article

Updated: SBCC Board placed on warning, four candidates named


[Editor’s note: This article has been updated with information about SBCC’s search for a new president.]

The same day Santa Barbara City College released a list of four finalists for its president position, the school announced that it has been placed on warning status.

The warning comes almost a year after it received a complaint alleging that the school’s board of trustees was out of compliance with a number of accreditation standards.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges notified the school of its status with a letter dated March 26, according to a statement SBCC released April 3. Accreditation officials visited the campus in November to investigate the board.

The investigation came after the board placed former college president Andreea Serban on paid administrative leave without revealing the cause. A complaint was sent to the accreditation commission alleging the board was out of compliance with dismissal procedures.

In the letter, commission president Barbara Beno said the violated standards that deal with its role and performance in governing a community college. The allegations cover the 2010-11 school year.

“The SBCC board and administration are working together to resolve the issues there were identified and demonstrate our compliance with ACCJC standards,” board president Peter Haslund said in the new release. “SBCC has been — and continues to be — a wonderful institution helping thousands of students reach their higher education goals.”

The college has until March 15, 2013 to submit a report showing that it has corrected the problems outlined in the letter. Specifically, the board must receive outside training on the appropriate role of a board of trustees, revise its code of ethics and focus on working for the benefit of the college.

Once the report is submitted, the commission will visit the college and issue a final decision. In the interim, SBCC will remain accredited.

The college also released a statement April 3 naming the final four candidates in its search for a new president. All the candidates are currently presidents of other community colleges in the state.

Lori Gaskin is president of West Valley College in Saratoga, David Viar is president of Sacramento’s American River College, Willard Lewallen is president of West Hills College in Coalinga, and Eloy Oakley is superintendent and president of Long Beach Community College District.

SBCC’s board is set to conduct interviews on April 13 and 18 and will sponsor public forums for the candidates on April 13 and 19. The college formed a search committee last year, and it’s set to name a new president in the next four weeks with a start date of July 1.

Jack Friedlander has been serving as interim president until a replacement is named.