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Chancellor's Biography

Michael E. Claire

Michael Claire became Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District in July 2020, continuing an affiliation with the District that began in 1980 when he was a student at Cañada College. Mr. Claire joined the faculty at College of San Mateo in 1988 after working for a major public accounting firm. During his time as a faculty member, Mr. Claire represented the Academic Senate on many college committees and served as chair of CSM’s Curriculum Committee.
In 1997, Mr. Claire was appointed as Dean of the Technology Division at College of San Mateo. Mr. Claire worked with faculty and classified staff to support the development of several new career and technical education programs including Digital Media, Network Cabling, Instrumentation and Process Control Systems, new curriculum for the College’s apprenticeship programs, a Paramedic Apprenticeship Program, and a full POST-certified police academy.
Mr. Claire served as the Vice President of Instruction at College of San Mateo from 2005 to 2006. During that time, he worked with instructional deans to support new curriculum development, with faculty to develop the College’s initial policies concerning the use of faculty computers and other technologies, and with high school and college stakeholders to expand the Middle College High School program.
Mr. Claire was appointed as President of College of San Mateo in January, 2007. Mr. Claire has worked with College stakeholders to guide the college through two successful accreditation visits and he currently serves as a Commissioner on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). In addition, Mr. Claire worked with College constituencies to develop several programs designed to serve underserved students, including several learning communities and other programs that provide direct support to students. Mr. Claire oversaw approximately $350M of new construction and renovation for the College of San Mateo campus. Mr. Claire is especially proud that College of San Mateo is recognized as an Aspen Top 150 College, making the College eligible to compete for the prestigious Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
In August 2019, Mr. Claire was appointed as the Acting Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District, and as Interim Chancellor of the District in September 2019, serving in that capacity until his appointment as Chancellor in 2020. Mr. Claire reports to the Board of Trustees and serves as the District’s Chief Executive Officer and has general oversight and responsibility for the District’s academic and administrative operations. Mr. Claire has worked with the Board to establish goals for the 2019/20 academic year and has implemented new practices to improve transparency. Mr. Claire has worked at all three campuses and at the District Office during his career.
Mr. Claire has lived in San Mateo County for most of his life. He has served on many boards in San Mateo County including the San Mateo Chamber of Commerce, the School Board for Notre Dame High School, and the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium. Mr. Claire currently serves on the Board of Directors for the San Mateo Credit Union.
Mr. Claire holds an MBA and a B.S. in Business Administration, both from California State University, East Bay. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).