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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: December 5, 2005


The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees today (Dec. 5) named Dr. Chui L. Tsang, President of San Jose City College, to the Superintendent/President post of SMC, effective Feb. 27, 2006.

Tsang, a first-generation Californian who started his higher education at a community college and went on to earn a doctorate in linguistics from Stanford University, has had a long and distinguished career in education, workforce training, economic development and nonprofits.

The 54-year-old Cupertino resident, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong, was selected from three finalists for the $175,000-a-year post. He succeeds Dr. Piedad F. Robertson, who left the college in January to take the presidency of Denver-based Education Commission of the States.

“We believe that Dr. Tsang will be an outstanding president and will help us move ahead in exciting and challenging times for Santa Monica College,” said SMC Board of Trustees Chair Carole Currey. “We were particularly impressed with Dr. Tsang’s perspicacity and sense of humor.”

The naming of Tsang comes after nearly a year-long nationwide search which culminated with interviews with three finalists recommended by a presidential search committee, which was composed of students, faculty members, classified (non-teaching) employees, managers and community members. The other finalists were Dr. Deborah Blue, vice president of policy and research for the Accrediting Commission for

Community & Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in Novato, and Dr. G. Jeremiah Ryan, president of Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey.

Dr. Thomas J. Donner, former SMC executive vice president, has served as interim president since Jan. 1, 2005.

Tsang has served as president of San Jose City College, which has an enrollment of over 10,000, for nearly nine years. While at San Jose, Tsang led the college on a $200 million-plus construction boom, funded primarily by voter-approved bonds in 1998 and 2004, that includes a new parking structure, library, tech center, student center and science complex. Under his leadership, a strategic planning model was developed through which the faculty continuously updates the college priorities and academic disciplines to reflect the changing needs of students and shifting economic trends. In addition, the college’s transfer mission was reinforced with the Light House Majors and Transfer Express program.

Prior to his post at San Jose, he served five years as Dean of the School of Applied Science and Technology at the City College of San Francisco. One of his most significant achievements there was establishment of the Evans Campus in southeast San Francisco, which consolidated the trade and technology programs in one facility.

From 1982 to 1992, Tsang served as Executive Director of Career Resources Development Center, a vocational training and employment agency approved by the California State Department of Education.
He has taught at Stanford University, De Anza College in Cupertino and San Francisco State University.

Tsang has been involved in many professional and community organizations at the local, state, national and international levels. He was one of the founders of the Stanford Students for Boat People to help Vietnamese refugees and has been active with such organizations as the Bay View Hunter’s Point Foundation (the largest provider of social

services to San Francisco’s African-American community), East Bay Regional Park Foundation and the San Francisco Private Industry Council. In addition, he has served as a senior technical advisor in human resources to a United Nations-funded international project, conducted staff training for the U.S. Forest Service, and was one of 16 Californians appointed to the California Constitution Revision Commission.
Other organizations include Asian Americans for Community Development and the Goodwill Industry of Santa Clara County.

Tsang attended Contra Costa College, a two-year campus in the East San Francisco Bay Area, transferring to UC Berkeley to earn his B.A. degree in linguistics (with honors) in 1975. He received his Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford in 1981 and is published in the fields of linguistics, education and workforce training.

His awards include Union Bank of California’s Local Hero Award and U.S. Department of Labor honors for his work in workforce and economic development.

Tsang has two children, Richard, 20, a junior at UC Berkeley majoring in political science and history, and Kathryn, 19, a sophomore at UC Davis whose major is biology.

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