Three finalists for the Southwestern College superintendent/president position will be forwarded to the Governing Board for interviews and action at a special Tuesday public meeting, it was announced Thursday.

The three candidates — Andrea Alexander, Mark Sanchez and Tina Vasconcellos — recorded hour-long interviews that are available for public viewing and comment through Sunday. The links to their recorded interviews, biographies and the feedback form can be found at search.aspx.

They are seeking to replace Kindred Murillo, who will retire at the end of this academic year after serving 24 years in the California Community College system.

Alexander is the vice president of administrative services at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose. She worked for a Fortune 500 company before entering higher education 12 years ago. She “has experience in fiscal management and strategic enrollment management,” she said. Alexander is the chair of the college’s Emergency Response Team, which has overseen Evergreen Valley College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanchez is the assistant superintendent/vice president of student success and support programs and the college centers at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Sanchez has more than 20 years of experience in community college, teaching and workforce development. He said he has “developed and implemented a district-wide implementation of comprehensive race conscious-equity focused instruction, student services and online programs designed to increase student access and success.”

Vasconcellos is vice president of student services and the accreditation liaison officer for the College of Alameda in Alameda, California. She has more than 20 years of experience as a community college educator. Vasconcellos has served in her current position for five years, where she said she has “infused the division with a commitment to cultural humility and inclusiveness in support of employee development and student success.”

The next superintendent/president will face a budget crisis as the state grapples with the economic impact of COVID-19.

Southwestern College was one of the first community colleges in the region to successfully transition its spring instruction and business operations remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Support to students during the pandemic has included distributing millions of dollars in relief aid, $150,000 in emergency grants, distribution of more than 1,000 computers and WiFi hotspots and distribution of grocery and gas cards. All employees received a technology stipend and the college has hosted several food and essential supply distributions for the surrounding communities.

— City News Service

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