Pasadena City College has narrowed the nationwide search for its next superintendent-president down to three finalists.
Dr. Patricia Hsieh, president of San Diego Miramar College; Dr. Robert Miller, interim superintendent-president of PCC; and Dr. Rajen Vurdien, president of Fullerton College will vie for the top post at PCC, the Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees announced Friday.
A new superintendent-president – the 15th in its long and storied history – is expected to be announced by the end of April, said Berlinda Brown, Board president. Under current bylaw, the trustees will vote on the final appointment in an open meeting.
“I was very pleased with the entire search process,” Brown said. “The board unanimously felt that these three by far were the most qualified. We’re looking forward to showcasing these candidates to the campus and community and seeking their input.”
From April 13 to 15, the trio will visit PCC individually to meet with campus groups representing students, faculty, staff, management, and administration. Each candidate will also be given the opportunity to present themselves to the campus community and public in two open forums during their visits. The schedule and location of the forums are as follows:
• April 13, from 12:40 to 1:40 p.m. in Westerbeck Recital Hall – All College Forum with Vurdien
• April 13, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Creveling Lounge – Community Forum with Vurdien
• April 14, from 12:40 to 1:40 p.m. in Westerbeck Recital Hall – All College Forum with Hsieh
• April 14, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Creveling Lounge – Community Forum with Hsieh
• April 15, from 12:40 to 1:40 p.m. in Westerbeck Recital Hall – All College Forum with Miller
• April 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Westerbeck Recital Hall – Community Forum with Miller
The forums are open to the public. Attendees will be able to provide feedback on the candidates through a questionnaire that will be handed out at the end of each forum. The feedback will then be given to the Board of Trustees and will be factored into their decision-making process, Brown said.
Hsieh is in her 10th year as president of San Diego Miramar College. She earned her Doctor of Education degree from Pepperdine University, and attended the Management and Leadership in Education Program and Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. She is also the recipient of the 2006 Asian Heritage Award, and in 2010 was selected as a Fulbright Fellow to the Russian Federation.
Miller has served as interim superintendent-president of PCC since September of 2014. Prior to that post, he served as assistant superintendent/senior vice president of Business and College Services and vice president of Educational Services. A PCC alumnus (Class of 1975), Miller earned a Doctorate of Public Administration at the University of La Verne. He has been involved with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association for 32 years, and will preside as the organization’s president in 2021.
Vurdien was appointed president of Fullerton College in May of 2010. Prior to that post, he served as vice president of Instruction at Saddleback College. In the 1980s, Vurdien worked for the United Nations Development Program, where he was positioned in China and led the U.N. language programs. He earned a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychological Studies in Education at Temple University.
PCC’s nationwide presidential search officially began last November, three months after the retirement of Dr. Mark Rocha. Fifty-one applied for the top post, according to Ralph Andersen & Associates, the firm PCC hired to coordinate the search. All candidates were screened through a committee consisting of campus shared governance groups.
For a full bio of each candidate, please visit www.pasadena.edu/finalists-for¬superintendent-president.html.
Pasadena City College is a state-supported, fully accredited, two-year community college with more than 28,000 students. It is located in Pasadena, Calif., and serves primarily the West San Gabriel Valley area. PCC offers a high-quality education with an extensive range of general education, transfer, certificate, and associate degree programs. With more than 60 academic and 70 Career and Technical Education programs – as well as Continuing Education, Extending Learning fee programs, and the Community Education Center – PCC can meet a variety of educational needs.
Visit www.pasadena.edu for more information.