Anthony Beebe SBCC
Santa Barbara City College Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe on Friday announced plans to retire this summer.  (Courtesy photo)

Longtime San Diego City College leader Anthony Beebe was announced as the new Santa Barbara City College president on Tuesday night.

Beebe and three other finalists gave public presentations to the college and had final interviews with the Board of Trustees last week.

The board held a closed session meeting Tuesday and unanimously voted to hire Beebe, Board President Marsha Croninger said. 

Beebe is currently president of San Diego City College, a post he’s held since August 2014, and before that headed the college’s continuing education program at seven district campuses.

He will start work July 1 and SBCC President Lori Gaskin will retire Aug. 1. 

Beebe was not able to attend Tuesday’s meeting to finalize to finalize contract negotiations, Croninger said during the announcement. 

The Board of Trustees recently toured San Diego City College and interviewed references, all who had exceptional things to say about Beebe, Croninger said. 

“In their own words, here is the person and leader they described: A visionary; transparent; collaborative; funny; genuine; open; straightforward; smart; warm; caring; generous; listens well; enjoys dialogue; makes people feel comfortable putting forth their ideas; great motivator; not a micro-manager; very involved with the community,” she said. 

Beebe was so proud of a program giving food, job training and business attire to homeless students that he made sure it was part of the tour, and it was similar to the SBCC career skills institute, Croninger said in her brief comments. 

During his public presentation at SBCC, Beebe said, ​“I was not the best high school student in the world, I saw how a community college experience can change the trajectory of a person.” 

He said the three pressing issues facing SBCC are managing the declining enrollment, financial management, and reconnecting with the community.

Beebe talked about more efforts to invite the outside community into SBCC and form coalitions between the college and nonprofit groups, other educational institutions, business groups and others.

The population of international students at SBCC is a contentious local issue due to the housing impacts and Beebe said in his presentation that he is not a big supporter of bringing in international students.

“I’m a local person and not a big supporter of bringing in the international students,” he said. “In San Diego we decided it’s not a direction we wanted to go.”

He does support bringing in the continuing education students to the credit-based programs, which the Board of Trustees likes about him.

“One of the hallmarks of Beebe’s service has been his efforts in establishing non-credit to credit pathways to assist students to transition to higher education,” SBCC said in a statement.

At San Diego City College, Beebe has overseen programs to recruit minority male students and approved the “San Diego Promise” pilot program which will give free education to a group of 200 high school graduates and adult education students this fall.

The other finalists were Kindred Murillo, president of Lake Tahoe Community College in South lake Tahoe; Melinda Nish, president of Southwestern College in Chula Vista; and Jill Stearns, president of Modesto Junior College in Modesto.

“I look forward to building on the strong foundation already established by the leaders that preceded me, including Dr. Lori Gaskin,” Beebe said in a statement.

“I understand what a special place this college is and its importance to the community. We will work together to build on the college’s strong traditions of excellence and its commitment to the community. I am eager to listen and engage with the campus, the SBCC Foundation and with the local community to foster strong relationships.”

Beebe’s past positions include vice president of instruction and student services at Yakima Valley Community College; assistant vice president of instruction and workforce development at Mt. Hood Community College; and dean and director of continuing education at the Riverside Community College District. 

He has a Doctor of Education degree from Oregon State University and an MBA from California State University, Sacramento. He completed the Harvard University Graduate Institute for Higher Education Management Development Program and is currently working on a Ph.D. in human and organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at