The Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Sunday to appoint Dr. Rajen Vurdien as superintendent-president of Pasadena City College.
“The Board is pleased that our selection process worked so quickly and so well and thanks everyone involved for their hard work,” said Berlinda Brown, board president. Brown said she will work with counsel to negotiate an agreement for Vurdien’s contract that will be acted on publicly at a future Board meeting.
Vurdien, currently the president of Fullerton College since May of 2010, beat out two other finalists – Dr. Robert Miller, interim superintendent-president of PCC, and Dr. Patricia Hsieh, president of Miramar College – to become the 15th president in PCC’s history.
“The Board also sincerely thanks Dr. Robert Miller for his service as interim president,” Brown said. “We look forward to a new era at PCC.”
Prior to his post at Fullerton College, Vurdien served as vice president of instruction at Saddleback College for six years. In the 1980s, Vurdien worked for the United Nations Development Program, where he was positioned in China and led the U.N. language programs. Other positions he has held include director of Graduate Programs in Education and professor of reading at Gwynedd Mercy College; associate professor and chair of reading at Long Island University; and instructor of reading and later dean of Language Arts and Physical Education at Long Beach City College.
Vurdien earned a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychological Studies in Education at Temple University. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Long Island University. He is a longtime resident of Buena Park, Calif., with his wife and two daughters.
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.