Experienced community college leader Dr. Helen Benjamin has been appointed interim superintendent/president of Santa Barbara City College.
Benjamin joined the Contra Costa Community College District in 1991, serving in a number of positions over the course of 27 years, including district chancellor for the last 11 years of her tenure until her retirement in 2016.
“I am honored to be selected by the board to serve in an interim capacity as superintendent/president of SBCC. I am inspired by the vision and mission of the college, and look forward to working with the board, employees and the community in fulfilling both,” said Benjamin.
Benjamin is actively involved in several professional and community organizations, several of which are dedicated to increasing opportunities for students of color and increasing access to a college education for low-income students. She has been a longtime advocate for the improvement of community and junior colleges, and served president of the California Community Colleges CEOs, as president of the board of the Community College League of California and as chair of the California Promise Leadership Team, according to Noozhawk.
Benjamin also holds several distinctions, such as being the first community college representative appointed by Congress to the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance and as convener of the Presidents’ Round Table of Community College African American CEOS and on the board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges.
“Santa Barbara City College is fortunate that Dr. Benjamin is available and interested in helping lead the Santa Barbara Community College District as we pursue the search for a permanent Superintendent/President,” said Board President Robert Miller. “Dr. Benjamin has a remarkable record of accomplishment in leading the Contra Costa Community College District for 11 years and is uniquely qualified to lead the Santa Barbara Community College District.”
Benjamin earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Bishop College and a master’s and doctoral degree from Texas Woman’s University.