Santa Monica College president to retire

Chui L. Tsang, who is retiring, has led Santa Monica College for nine years

The president of Santa Monica College will retire by this summer, school officials announced Wednesday.

Chui L. Tsang, who has served as the community college's president for the last nine years, told employees in an email Tuesday night that he was “confident that Santa Monica College today is in great condition.”

"Santa Monica College now stands poised to achieve the next level of development as one of the great public educational institutions of California,” Tsang wrote.

The college has about 33,000 students and 1,400 faculty. The campus has sent the most transfer students to University of California campuses of any of the state's two-year schools over the last 24 years.

Tsang came under some scrutiny three years ago when he proposed offering some classes at a higher cost, essentially creating a two-tiered system. The head of the community college system asked Tsang to hold off on such a plan and it was never implemented. Students protested at the campus; some were pepper sprayed when a campus officer believed the crowd got out of hand.  

The campus was one of 15 community colleges to recently receive preliminary state approval to begin offering baccalaureate degrees. Santa Monica plans to offer a four-year degree in Interaction Design.

“I retire comforted in the knowledge that the College will remain in the care of an unrivaled faculty and staff who stand poised to lift this college and its students to ever greater levels of success,” Tsang wrote.

The college's board of trustees is expected to name an interim president shortly before beginning to search for a permanent replacement.

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