Rajen Vurdien, PCC's new college president.
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Rajen Vurdien was selected by the Board of Trustees to be the next president of PCC during a special board meeting on Sunday afternoon.

Rajen Vurdien, PCC's new college president.
Rajen Vurdien, PCC’s new college president.

Vurdien, who is the current president at Fullerton College, will take over as president in June if he accepts the board’s offer.

The board’s decision was unanimous, according to a PCC press release that was sent out after 4 p.m. on Monday.

“The board is pleased that our selection process worked so quickly and so well and thanks everyone involved for their hard work,” board president Berlinda Brown said in the release.

Former Interim Superintendent Robert Miller, who was in the running for the job, will return to his previous position as senior vice-president of business and college services.

“The board also sincerely thanks everyone involved for their hard work,” Brown said in the statement.

Miller said in an email that he was “disappointed” with the board’s decision.

“I am disappointed but respect the decision of the Board,” Miller said. “I love this college and community and will continue to work in the best interest of students.  I look forward to working towards an orderly transition to Dr. Vurdien’s leadership and helping to assure his success.”

Student Trustee Marshall Lewis made it clear that he was unhappy with the outcome.

“The board was in the position to make the right decision supported by students, faculty, staff and the community,” Lewis said. “And they failed—again.”

Board members did not immediately return emails requesting comment.

Academic Senate president Eduardo Cairo mentioned that he was encouraged that the senate would continue moving forward under the new president as he announced the selection of Vurdien to the Academic Senate during their meeting today.

The Faculty Association will begin negotiations with the District once again in the fall of 2015, according to FA president Julie Kiotas.

“I do not know Vurdien, but in my brief time in meetings with him, he seems to be very reasonable,” she said. “I hope that we can find common ground and continue towards a positive working relationship.”

Vurdien has been the president at Fullerton College since 2010 and before that was vice president of instruction at Saddleback College for six years. He also currently sits on the executive board of the California State University Fullerton Doctor in Education Leadership program.

Patricia Hsieh, president of San Diego Miramar College, was the third finalist being considered for the superintendent job.

Additional reporting by Matthew Kiewiet.

Comments

  1. How did Vurdien win this bidding? Reading the credentials from:
    https://pasadena.edu/finalists-for-superintendent-president.html

    He seemed the least likely candidate, being the most far removed from Southern California and the public university system in general. Vurdien had attended, Rennes (a tier 3 school in France), Mauritius Institute (where?), Temple University, and Long Island University (what?). The latter two are neither public institutions.

    His biography reads like a mess. He’s an academic seeking an administrative job, or is he an English adjunct professor with a PhD in psychology, or is he seeking to to land a job in business with his MBA? How could he even afford such an education without landing major employment — funding from his parents? Is that in line with the current students at PCC? If disregarding all that, what has he done lately with Fullerton College since being appointed since 2010?

    Robert B. Miller seemed like the natural candidate given his history with the school, and his current title of interim President. If anything, it seems like Miller could have moved on and found work at other institutions, but has remain loyal to the area and to PCC. At least his background with the school should come as no surprise. His non-election might stem from bad blood which the public might not know about, or some glaring misstep with the faculty.

    Patricia Hsieh seems like a strong candidate as well. She’s ran Miramar College since 2005, a decade, as one of the best community colleges in San Diego. The school is about half the size of PCC, but there hasn’t been a peep of complaint from the students or faculty (that I know of) — I have relatives who have attended there. Miramar College has also seen an expansion in facilities and new hirings since Hsieh’s tenure. Even the local UC school nearby, UCSD, were lured to teach classes at Miramar. Her Chinese background should have also helped with the numerous international students from China.

    But, Vurdien as president? Who?

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