City College gets out chancellor

  • by Chris Huqueriza
  • Wednesday June 10, 2015
Share this Post:

City College of San Francisco, in the midst of a reprieve from the state over accreditation issues, has hired a lesbian with ties to the school as its interim chancellor.

Susan Lamb, who had been serving as vice chancellor of academic affairs, was named to the top leadership post June 5, Special Trustee Guy Lease announced.

Lamb is the first out person to hold the chancellor position.

Gay leaders at the community college were ecstatic with the appointment.

"It's very exciting and historic for the college as Susan is the first openly gay chancellor," Rafael Mandelman, a gay man who is president of CCSF's Board of Trustees, said in an interview with the Bay Area Reporter. "She is the right person to lead us and the college community, and the board of trustees has a lot of confidence in her. I look forward to working with Susan."

In a brief interview, Lamb, 52, said she looked forward to the job, which does come with its challenges. City College continues to deal with the fallout stemming from its accreditation being threatened with revocation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Earlier this year the accreditation committee granted "restoration" status to CCSF, giving it two years to fully comply with the requirements needed to be in good standing. In the meantime, a city lawsuit against the commission is making its way through state court.

In fact, Lamb helped the college receive restoration status and addressed recommendations associated with the ACCJC report. She has also helped expand programs for the school's Career Technical Education Pathways and its Metro Academy, which recently won a $6 million grant and a $3 million award from the state, respectively.

"Susan Lamb has an incredible knowledge of the college and its accreditation and I'm so happy she's taking the challenge, as well as the responsibility," gay City College Trustee Alex Randolph said. "As she's a proud lesbian, Susan received the job during Pride Month. I couldn't ask for anything better."

Lamb also commented on the historic nature of her selection.

"CCSF has a long history of embracing and celebrating diversity and being a trail-blazer in standing up for LGBT equality," she said. "I am so proud to lead this institution during such historic times for our community. It is a great honor."

Lamb replaces Chancellor Art Tyler, who served 19 months in the position.

"We want to thank Dr. Tyler for his service to this college and congratulate Ms. Lamb on her new role as chancellor," Lease and California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris said in a joint college-wide statement. "We look forward to working with her, the board of trustees, and our college community in support of the college."

They added that Lamb's "knowledge of the college and of accreditation makes her an excellent leader for the next phase of development of the college."

With 28 years of experience as an educator and community college administrator, Lamb has filled many roles, including part-time faculty, full-time faculty, and department dean. She served as faculty Senate president at Contra Costa College, as well as interim senior dean of general education and transfer, and vice president of academic affairs at Diablo Valley College.

Lamb earned her bachelor's degree and a master's in education from Southwest Texas State University. She has also completed all coursework toward a doctorate degree at the University of San Francisco.

She has received English as a Second Language training at the University of California Extension, Berkeley.

Lamb began her management career by developing recreational therapy programs for students at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

She is a member of the California Community Colleges' Chief Instructional Officers, and has served as a regional chair on the organization's executive board.

"Susan Lamb has earned the respect of students, the board and the faculty with a strong work ethic and a passion for education," Randolph said. "CCSF is a true community college with a diverse background and she is the perfect fit for the role."