Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb announced late Thursday night she will leave City College of San Francisco in June after leading the college through the tail-end of an accreditation crisis.
Shortly before midnight, Lamb, who stepped into her role as interim chancellor two years ago at a time when the college’s future was murky, told the Board of Trustees she will not toss her hat in the ring to become permanent chancellor by the application deadline Friday.
“One person does not move a college forward, it is a community and college community that moves a college forward,” Lamb said. “This college, it gets to your heart, and thank you.”
While the school still faces low enrollment, CCSF’s accreditation was reaffirmed for seven years in January after a years-long battle with the college’s accreditor.
The trustees each offered sincere words to Lamb after her surprising announcement, which came at the end of a contentious meeting that included discussions of the upcoming class schedule and the future of the Fort Mason campus.
Thea Selby, president of the trustees, said she has appreciated Lamb not just for her southern charm but “superhumanly hard” work.
“Near and dear to my heart is that you are a woman who has been leading this organization because this is not easy,” Selby told Lamb. “It is not easy to be a woman and have to stand up against people who are not so very nice all the time.”
Trustee Alex Randolph noted that Lamb made history as the first openly LGBT chancellor of the college.
Lamb almost left CCSF two years ago, but decided instead to take the reigns in June 2015 when asked by then-board President Rafael Mandelman and Special Trustee Guy Lease. As Randolph put it, “The chips were all about to fall.”
“You stepped up to the plate [during] a very, very difficult time for the college,” Randolph said. “You brought a lot of leadership to the college.”
Mandelman said Lamb played a significant role in keeping the college afloat, guiding the college as it sought to achieve a long series of accreditation standards.
“There’s some people who have this perception that they fight for institution but our administration doesn’t,” Mandelman said. “But I have seen you time after time… You’ve been fantastic for us.”
The trustees are expected to interview candidates throughout April and choose a permanent chancellor in May.