By Ken Stone
Lake Tahoe’s loss is Southwestern College’s gain as the Chula Vista school signaled its new district superintendent and president Tuesday. Thanks to her allergies.
According to press reports, Murillo notified her current employer in January she intended to leave.
“I have loved the work at [Lake Tahoe Community College District], the faculty, staff, board, LTCC Foundation board, and the community of South Lake Tahoe,” Murillo said in a news release. “But when you are severely allergic to pine trees, sometimes you have to make tough choices.”
The Lake Tahoe News said in January: “What comes next for the 61-year-old remains to be seen. Whatever it is, it will have to be in a region without pine trees or at least with more humidity. Murillo is allergic to pine trees, which leads to colds and respiratory issues.
“Throughout the meeting Tuesday night she was dabbing at her eyes and blowing her nose – which at that time wasn’t about the sadness of her impending departure.”
Southwestern would be her sixth college in 20 years — after jobs at Copper Mountain College, Desert Community College District, Pasadena City College, Contra Costa Community College District and Lake Tahoe.
Murillo served as superintendent/president of the Lake Tahoe district since July 2011. There she helped win passage of Measure F — a $55 million general obligation bond. She also diversified the college’s revenue sources and focused the college on student equity.
“The board was impressed with Dr. Murillo’s steady leadership at Lake Tahoe, her passion for improving educational opportunity for all students and her commitment to equity and equality,” said governing board President Nora E. Vargas.
A news release said: “Murillo said she was excited by the opportunity to lead Southwestern College’s ongoing work to put students first, to secure the college’s fiscal base and to foster a culture of equity and inclusion.”
Murillo was one of three finalists interviewed by the school board, Others were Reagan Romali, president of Harry S. Truman College in Chicago, and Angelica Suarez, vice president for student affairs at Southwestern College.
Murillo earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in organizational leadership and development from Pepperdine University, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her BS in business administration came at the University of Redlands after an AA at Barstow Community College.
Former Palomar College President Robert Deegan has served as interim superintendent since August, replacing Melinda Nish, who resigned in June to take a sabbatical and pursue other professional opportunities, according to a report in The San Diego Union-Tribune.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: