Union Democrat staff

Finalists for the president’s job at Columbia College have been announced by the Presidential Search Committee.

The two men will participate in forums for the community to meet them next week.

Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, executive vice president of educational programs and student services at Cypress College, a community college near Long Beach, will be available for the public to meet from 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. April 18 in the Dogwood Forum, Columbia College, 11600 Columbia College Drive, Sonora..

Dr. James Todd, vice president of student services at Modesto Junior College, will meet with the public from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on April 19, also in the Dogwood Forum.

The candidates will have a chance to make a speech and answer questions.

Bandyopadhyay holds a Ph.D. in higher education and MBA from Ohio University and a bachelor of science in physics from Kolkata University.

He previously worked as director of institutional research and planning at Cypress College and as a budget and policy analyst at Ohio University.

Todd holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in cultural anthropology from University of California, Santa Cruz, a master’s in anthropology from The George Washington University, a bachelor’s in anthropology from New College of the University of South Florida, and an associate’s degree in general studies from Brevard Community College.

Previously he was a professor of anthropology and academic Senate president at Modesto Junior College. Modesto, along with Columbia College, is in the Yosemite Community College District.

Angela Fairchilds, president of Columbia College since February 2014, announced in February that she will retire at the end of June after a 38-year career in higher education.

Dr. Melissa Raby, vice president of student services at Columbia College, chaired the search committee. Initial interviews were completed April 6 and the names of the two finalists have been forwarded to Chancellor Henry C. V. Yong and the Yosemite Community College District Board of Trustees.

The two-year Columbia College will celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall and has about 3,500 students.

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