The San Mateo County Community College District announced three finalists to be the district's next chancellor, taking a spot that has been temporarily filled by Mike Claire since 2019, when he stepped in for disgraced chancellor emeritus Ron Galatolo. Galatolo exited the district before being charged with 21 felonies in April for misuse of funds during his leadership of the district.
The list includes Santanu Bandyopadhyay, president at Modesto Junior College in the Yosemite Community College District; Bradley Davis, chancellor of the West Valley-Mission Community College District in Santa Clara; and Rowena M. Tomaneng, president at San José City College in the San José-Evergreen Community College District, according to a Nov. 23 press release. A screening committee composed of faculty, staff, students, administrators, board members and community members held initial interviews with candidates and came up with the pool of finalists.
The district held forums via Zoom on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to introduce the community to the candidates. You can find the recordings of meetings and offer feedback here. Their full bios are also listed on the website.
Claire plans to retire in June 2023.
More information on the chancellor hiring process can be found here. The chancellor leads the community college district, which is home to Cañada College in Woodside, College of San Mateo in San Mateo, and Skyline College in San Bruno.
The district's board of trustees will interview candidates the week of Jan. 10.
Updates in the Galatolo case
The charges against Galatolo, who is currently out of custody on a $150,000 cash bail, include that he allegedly fraudulently reported a $10,000 charitable donation to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation Fire Relief Fund on his 2017 taxes that was actually a donation made by the San Mateo Community College District Foundation, according to the District Attorney's Office. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.
Judge Stephanie G. Garratt recused herself from the case in late October after she advised attorneys that she has a conflict in the case, according to a note to members of the media in late October. The DA's Office told the San Mateo Daily Journal that Garratt learned while reviewing email message evidence that she knew one of the people in the messages, the DA's Office said.
Judge Jeffrey R. Finnigan has since taken over the case, according to the DA’s Office.