After serving Pasadena City College for over three and half years, Dr. Rajen Vurdien’s presidency will be coming to an end, however, he still has many goals for the school before heading into retirement.
Vurdien started his journey at the college in 2015 with work that needed to be done. His first priority as president was to get PCC off of probation.
According to Vurdien, when a school is on probation it could lose its accreditation and may no longer be to able to qualify for financial aid. A school under probation can longer receive federal money, which means students can no longer attend the school.
“We had to pull together and work together as a college to address the accreditation issues that the college had to deal with,” said Vurdien. “The college was on probation, so that first year we had to make sure everything was taken care of so we could get off of it, and be reaffirmed.”
He ensured that after he leaves this campus the school will remain in good shape and will continue to excel.
For Vurdien, his main goal for PCC was to make sure student success was not only at the top of his agenda but for the rest of the staff as well.
“I could say that I was able to work with the faculty and staff of this college to bring everyone together so we could have one thing in mind- all of us to move together to improve student success, to bridge the achievement gap, to increase diversity,” Vurdien said. “ I think if you look at the records that I’m leaving behind, I was pretty successful in leading the school in that direction.”
However, with Vurdien’s term not yet over, he still has plans of improving the school. He stated that there is a Career Completion Center in the making and a remodeling of the Student Service Center.
Vurdien hopes these plans will help students get to their transfer or career goals in a timely manner. Student success is his lasting goal for the campus.
“We have increased students, have graduated more students and we have put together programs that will have a lasting effect on the future.”
With all the obstacles on his journey, hardships never seem to be difficult to Vurdien, but rather seen as an opportunity to learn.
“I don’t want to say there [were] any hardships that I faced, any person in [this] position will have to deal with all kinds of problems,” he said. “I’ve never concerned any obstacle as a hardship, we have always worked with our faculty and staff to figure out those little bumps in the road.”
Vurdien success to him during his presidency was through the success of students.
“The most successful moment was when we found out from admission that PCC was fully reaffirmed, and it was no longer on probation.”
Vurdien will be leaving this year and his plans for retirement are simple: relax, read, walk, run an ultramarathon and travel the remaining parts of the world he hasn’t seen.
“Pasadena City College is a wonderful school, it has been here for almost 100 years and has done exceedingly well. The school will continue shining as a beacon of light not only in this region but in the state.”