Southwestern College has conducted a nationwide search to replace former superintendent Raj Chopra, who resigned from the institution last November.
Five finalists have been selected: Dr. Williard Lewallen, president of West Hills College in Coalinga; Denise Whittaker, interim superintendent/president of Southwestern College; Dr. Melinda Nish, vice president of instruction at Orange Coast College; Dr. Debra Daniels, president of San Bernardino Valley College; and Dr. Betty Inclan, president of Berkeley City College.
The college will hold two forums, on September 12 and 13, on the Chula Vista campus. The finalists will respond to questions from campus employees, students, and the community.
Many people on the campus were surprised to learn that the interim superintendent, Denise Whittaker, was one of the finalists. Until recently Whittaker had declined to toss her hat into the ring.
Community College Search Services of Ventura conducted the nationwide search for the five finalists; it’s the same search firm that brought Whittaker to the campus last January as interim superintendent. She was the unanimous choice of the board.
Pictured: Denise Whittaker