With the conclusion of the fall semester at Pasadena City College, and with the selection
of Dr. Erika Endrijonas as the college’s 16th superintendent/president announced earlier this month, outgoing chief executive Rajen Vurdien, Ph.D., is sharing his reflections on his
tenure at PCC with the community.
“In this time of transition – from semester to semester, from year to year, and from
one phase of life to another,” Dr. Vurdien wrote in a “Dear Colleagues” letter last
week, “I would like to take some time to express my sincere gratitude for all that
we have been able to accomplish together.”
The remainder of his letter reads as follows:
Looking back, it is hard to believe that I came to Pasadena only three and a half
years ago. Some memories are so rich and detailed that they suggest an engagement
with this college that transcends time. The achievements we have witnessed together
during my time spent at PCC include some of the most rewarding highlights of my career,
and when I consider them as a whole the scope of our impact becomes clear. In our
We brought on new members of our faculty and staff that more accurately reflect our
student population, through a process that was recognized by the state and national
observers for its commitment to equity and diversity.
We negotiated and successfully signed three-year contracts with each of our collective
bargaining units, giving us stable ground for future growth.
Next summer, we will begin construction on a complete replacement of the U Building,
finally returning much-needed facility resources to our campus.
We have invested in renovated facilities for students that are veterans, former foster
youth, and undocumented and LGBTQ+; those that have enrolled in our Pathways program
or are seeking career advice; and any that will come for services in our L Building.
We are working collaboratively and collegially towards incorporating changes in law
and policy that govern placement and assessment, course sequencing, and state funding.
We have nurtured a practice of shared governance that respects each individual’s right
and responsibility to contribute to the future of our college while remaining true
to our shared values.
And lastly, we have created an environment where we are all able to realize a meaningful
engagement with our students’ success.
These achievements belong to all of us, and I am sure you will be able to see your
role in making them possible. I am deeply grateful for your support of, and engagement
with our college during my tenure here. I will remember our time fondly, and the professional
relationships I have had the pleasure of building will nurture me throughout my retirement.
I wish you and your families the happiest of holiday seasons, and I look forward to
celebrating with you further during my final weeks in the new year.
Dr. Vurdien will retire from California’s community college system in mid-January.
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