San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees Names Michael Claire as District’s New Chancellor
The Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District has announced that Michael Claire will be the new chancellor of the three-college District, which includes Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College.
“The Board is enthusiastic and proud to select Mike Claire as our next chancellor, and we know that he will continue to demonstrate the values and promote the priorities of the District,” said Karen Schwarz, SMCCCD board president. “In this time of uncertainty in our community and across the globe, the Board is confident that Mr. Claire will see the District not only through this unprecedented event and beyond, but will do so with a focus on equity, inclusion, collaboration and engagement.”
The selection of a new chancellor comes after a national search for the District’s first new CEO in two decades.  The search process began last fall with the appointment of a search committee that included students, faculty and staff from all three of the colleges and the District Office, as well as two community members. The committee narrowed the search to three finalists, each of whom took part in extensive interviews and community forums.
Among the key first tasks for the new chancellor will be recommending a new president at Skyline College.  Finalists for this position have been announced and the stakeholder engagement process is underway.
“I am humbled by the Board’s confidence in me and honored to have been selected to work with this amazing team of professionals to continue to bring world-class higher education to the students of the District,” said Claire. “There has never been a greater need for community colleges and the life-changing educational experience we bring to our students.  The challenges we face as a community are reflected in our classrooms every day and we have an opportunity to provide learning, enrichment, resources and ultimately a promising future to students.”
Claire has a long and distinguished record as a community college educator and administrator, having served most recently for the past 12 years as president of College of San Mateo.  Claire’s affiliation with the San Mateo County Community College District began when he was a student at Cañada College.  In 1988, he joined the District as a faculty member and later became a dean and vice president.  During his tenure at College of San Mateo, the College was named as an Aspen Institute Top 150 Community College in the nation.
Throughout his 30-year career at the District, Claire has worked with stakeholders to serve underrepresented students and populations including developing several learning communities and other programs that provide direct support to students. Claire also oversaw approximately $350 million of new construction and renovation for the College of San Mateo campus.
Claire’s selection is subject to approval of a written contract, which the Board of Trustees will consider at their next meeting on May 13.  The terms of the contract will be available for public review prior to the meeting.  Claire will assume his new role on July 1.