Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay has accepted an offer by the Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) to become the new president of Columbia College, effective July 16, 2018. YCCD Board Chair Darin Gharat formally announced Dr. Bandyopadhyay as Columbia College’s next President at the YCCD Board of Trustees’ May 9 meeting. Chair Gharat reported, “The decision was unanimous. The Board looks forward to Dr. Bandyopadhyay’s leadership and is confident in his commitment to serving the students and community within the Columbia College service area.”
Bandyopadhyay will succeed Columbia College President Dr. Angela Fairchilds, who is retiring after 38 years in higher education. “I am thrilled to be the next President at Columbia College. The natural beauty of the campus and friendliness of people I met during the forum left a lasting impact. I am looking forward to working with campus folks and the community,” commented Bandyopadhyay on the announcement.
Dr. Bandyopadhyay has over 21 years of experience in higher education including 13 years as a leader in community colleges where he was involved in national initiatives such as Achieving the Dream, Foundations of Excellence, and Survey of Entering Student Engagement. Dr. Bandyopadhyay is currently the Executive Vice President of Educational Programs and Student Services at Cypress College. Prior to that he worked as the Director of Institutional Research and Planning, also at Cypress College; Director of Institutional Research at Zane State College; and, Budget & Policy Analyst at Ohio University. He served 4 years as a full-time faculty in Computer Science at the National Institute of Information Technology. He has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Ohio University, an MBA from Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Kolkata University.
As an educational leader, Dr. Bandyopadhyay states, “I have great opportunity to work with the local community and leaders from other educational institutions. When community and educators work together, great things happen: not only does it increase college participation, completion, and workforce development, but also helps reduce crime rate, decrease racism and hate crime, improves understanding of civic issues, and develops good citizens. I call that collective impact work. I love that type of work and look forward to joining the Columbia College Community to bring lasting change.”
According to YCCD Chancellor Henry Yong, “Dr. Bandyopadhyay is an excellent fit for Columbia College. His teaching experience, background in research, and years in higher education, specifically in community colleges, will serve the College well.”
Bandyopadhyay’s selection comes after a nationwide search conducted by PPL, Professionals. The search began in January. Columbia College Presidential forums were held in April, prior to Chancellor Yong interviewing finalists for the position.