Cuesta College officials named two College of the Canyons leaders as finalists in their search for Cuesta’s next superintendent and president.
Both COC Assistant Superintendent and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jerry Buckley and COC Deputy Chancellor Barry Gribbons are among four finalists vying for the head position at the San Luis Obispo community college.
Additional finalists include Modesto Junior College President Jill Stearns and Santa Monica College Vice President of Academic Affairs Georgia Lorenz.
These finalists, including Buckley and Gribbons, spoke to members of the public, faculty and staff during an open forum at the college’s San Luis Obispo campus Feb. 20. They also spoke to members of the Cuesta College Board of Trustees during closed session interviews March 1.
“I think what’s different about me is that I have the skills but I value people, I value relationships… This is not just a job for me, I don’t just want to come to Cuesta and go somewhere else. I want to come to Cuesta, I want to be here, I want to be in this community,” Buckley said during the open forum. “Looking at my life and my career, everything has done has brought me to this point in time where I now think I am the right person for this college.”
During his interview, Gribbons discussed his approach to addressing the potential new programs, policies and challenges facing Cuesta College in the future.
“With all these demands, with all the challenges we face… it gets a little bit overwhelming and the pressure mounts so we have to do it in a way where we watch out for each other,” he said during the open forum. “And equally important, if at all possible, we need to have a little fun doing it… This place needs to continue to be a place that we all value and a place that we enjoy coming to and doing our best in service to the students.”
Buckley joined COC in 2013, when he took on his current role as assistant superintendent/vice president of academic affairs. Prior to his work as COC, Buckley acted as vice president of instruction for San Diego Miramar College, senior dean of planning, research and institutional effectiveness for Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and chief technologist physiologic analyst at Sharp Healthcare.
Buckley holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from USC, master’s degree in biology from Cal State Fullerton and a doctorate in education from San Diego State.
Gribbons has been with COC since 1991 when he became dean of institutional development for the Santa Clarita Community College District. During his time at COC, Gribbons acted as executive dean of institutional development and technology, assistant superintendent and vice president of institutional development, technology and online services, and now as deputy chancellor.
Gribbons holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State Northridge, a master’s degree in educational psychology from USC and a doctorate in education, measurement and statistics from USC.
The chosen finalist for the lead position at Cuesta College will begin July 1 when he or she replaces retiring superintendent and President Gil Stork, who has acted as president since 2010 and has been employed by the college for nearly 50 years.
Selection of Cuesta College’s next president is expected to be announced during a future open board meeting.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_