Southwestern chooses Lake Tahoe candidate to lead college campus

A search for Southwestern Community College’s next superintendent has come to an end with the selection of Kindred Murillo.

Murillo, Lake Tahoe Community College’s superintendent/president, and two other finalists, went through a final round of interviews with the college’s governing board Monday afternoon at the Coronado Marriot Resort and Spa.
In the end, Murillo,61, was selected for her vast experience in higher education.

“The governing board sought an experienced leader who could take all of Southwestern’s potential and lead our students, faculty, staff and administrators to new levels of accomplishment,” said Governing Board President Nora Vargas.

Vargas said all three finalists were qualified leaders in higher education but Murillo was the perfect fit for the college that serves about 20,000 students.

“Dr. Murillo has a unique background in business, organizational leadership, and as a faculty member that will serve as a foundation when managing the many, competing, and important, interest and opportunities at Southwestern College.

The board of trustees will meet Dec. 14 to publicly approve the selection of Murillo and to vote on her contract.
Murillo has served Lake Tahoe Community College since July 2011.

During that time she facilitated the successful passage of Measure F – a $55 million general obligation bond – initiated and successfully diversified the college’s revenue sources and focused the college on student equity.
She said she is ready to get to work at SWC.

“I can’t wait to get there and get going on my job,” she said.

Murillo said her last day at Lake Tahoe is Feb.1, 2017.  She is currently working out a start date with SWC.

At Lake Tahoe, Murrilo currently earns about $176,0642 annually, according to Transparent California.
Murillo said she has a lot to offer the college.

“I am absolutely dedicated to student equity and closing the achievement gap and ensuring that we’re doing the right work in community colleges,” she said. “We have a community that is very diverse and a college that is very diverse.”
Murillo holds a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.

Murillo will be tasked with making sure the college is complying with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges after being placed on warning status earlier this year.

SWC was on the hunt for a new superintendent/president ever since Melinda Nish announced her resignation last summer after four and a half years on the job.

Nish and the board had “mutually agreed” to part ways so she can take time off to pursue a sabbatical for personal and other professional development.

At the time of her resignation, Nish made $238,257 annually.

An agreement with Nish provided her with seven months of severance pay rather than the remaining 18 months in her contract.

On Aug. 9 the board named former Palomar College Superintendent Robert Deegan as its interim superintendent.