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Tuesday, November 20 , 2018, 11:03 pm | Fair 51º


Santa Barbara City College President Lori Gaskin Announces Retirement

Gaskin joined the campus in 2012 and will leave at the end of the 2015-16 school year

Lori Gaskin joined Santa Barbara City College in 2012 and will retire at the end of the current school year, she announced Monday.
Lori Gaskin joined Santa Barbara City College in 2012 and will retire at the end of the current school year, she announced Monday.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk file photo)

After three years at the helm of Santa Barbara City College, President Lori Gaskin announced Monday that she would be retiring at the end of the current school year.

Gaskin was hired in 2012 from West Valley College in Saratoga and has been part of the California Community College system for 35 years, beginning as adjunct instructor and working her way up to the role of president.

Beginning that career decades ago, “it seems like it was just yesterday,” she wrote to staff and faculty of SBCC.

“I recall feeling such gratitude that I found my place in the world. And I continue to feel that way each and every day. Teaching and then leading within the community college environment has been the greatest gift I have ever received.”

Gaskin then stated she would be retiring at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, which will mark the end of her fourth year at SBCC.

She told Noozhawk that she felt the time was right to retire and said it's exciting for her to envision her life's next steps.

SBCC Board President Marianne Kugler said in a statement sent out Monday that Gaskin has provided “exemplary leadership” to the college and her focus on student health, well-being and welfare.

“On behalf of our entire Board, we thank Lori for having served the college and our students and the entire community with such knowledge, decisiveness, and grace,” Kugler said.

“She will be greatly missed.”

Gaskin joined the college at a time of transition, after the college had been placed on warning by an accreditation oversight agency because of a 2011 complaint alleging the Board of Trustees was out of compliance with a number of accreditation standards, including not complying with its own rules of governance.

During Gaskin’s tenure, the college was taken off warning status, and a recent visit from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges commended the college in multiple categories.

During her time at the college, SBCC was named the nation co-winner of the 2013 Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence, and Gaskin has also called attention to the school’s need to upgrade its facilities.

She has overseen the building of the West Campus Classroom and Office Building, the last facility project associated with Measure V bond funds.

Voters didn't pass a $288 million general obligation bond measure, Measure S, last November, which would have funded facility upgrades and replace several buildings on campus.

Since last fall, Gaskin has spearheaded a SBCC Neighborhood Task Force, aimed at improving the school’s relationship with direct neighbors on the Mesa and Lower Westside.

“As I think ahead, what is evident is that our momentum is unstoppable,” Gaskin said in her statement announcing her retirement.

“We have an intrinsic drive and spirit to continue to do great things. That's certainly my vision for 2015/16 and beyond… moving ever forward, advancing our equity and success efforts, scaling our exceptionally effective teaching, learning, and support practices, seeking to reach more of the middle majority of our students with support and intervention, and meeting your needs so that you are able to continue the fine work that has long fueled this extraordinary institution.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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