May 25, 2024
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Santa Barbara City College president steps down


Note: This article was updated to include information about Goswami’s severance pay.

Utpal Goswami resigned as superintendent and president of Santa Barbara City College on July 12, just over a year and a half into his term.

SBCC announced Goswami’s resignation after a special Board of Trustees meeting on July 12, during which the board held a closed session to talk about the “discipline/dismissal/release of a public employee.” It was also than a month after the board held its annual performance evaluation of Goswami, which his contract specifies has to be done every year on or before June 30 each year.

Utpal Goswami

As part of the resignation agreement between Goswami and the board, Goswami will act as a consultant for the next month and will be paid severance equal to one year’s salary, or $318,000.

Goswami started in the job on Jan. 1, 2020. His employment contract, approved by the SBCC Board of Trustees in November 2019, ran through June 30, 2023. Ending it before that time triggered the severance pay.

Goswami was also paid $15,000 to help relocate to the Santa Barbara area, and another $20,000 to help support interim housing during the first year of his employment. Before accepting his role at Santa Barbara City College, Goswami served as an interim president and superintendent at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, as well as president at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri.

Goswami led SBCC through the COVID-19 pandemic and more than a year of distance learning, and was also president when Amazon billionaire MacKenzie Scott gave the college $20 million, the biggest gift in its history.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as Superintendent/President of SBCC,” Goswami said in an SBCC news release. “I wish the best for SBCC, and I look forward to hearing about the great strides that the institution will make.”

Kathleen Scott, the interim executive vice president of educational programs, will be acting superintendent and president until the Board of Trustees appoints an interim leader to the role.