Dr Pamela Luster has announced that she will step down from her presidency at San Diego Mesa College, effective June 30, 2022.
Luster was elected president of San Diego Mesa College in 2011 by the CEOs of California Community Colleges. Since then, she has had progressive initiatives such as “the building of the SD Mesa Foundation, the HIM undergraduate program, SD Promise, The Stand Resource Center… to name a few,” Luster said in her letter of retirement. Not only has President Luster incorporated many programs, but many buildings and spaces have also been added to the SD Mesa College campus, such as “12 major new buildings and spaces totaling over $ 28 million,” he said. -she adds.
Prior to his presidency, Luster was the acting vice president of education and vice president of student services. On top of that, she also served as Dean of Academic Services at Las Positas College, Livermore, California. Luster has been part of the community college network for 40 years. Although the average tenure for community college presidents is around three to five years, Luster will serve as president of San Diego Mesa College for almost 11 years.
“This decision came after several months of deliberation and discussions with my family, ”she said in her announcement.
One of her favorite parts of her job is definitely the first week of school, “there is something so joyful and promising about thousands of students deciding that this is how they are doing. change their lives, ”she said. School and education have special meaning for Luster, not only because she loved going to school, but because it is this promise of education and this commitment that one makes to improve one’s life. .
Luster is part of a statewide initiative on food and housing, diversity, equity and inclusion. Currently, she is part of Governor Gavin Newson’s task force to meet the basic needs of higher education students. She will continue to teach at San Diego State University as part of the doctoral program and will likely be a consultant in the system. She also has a discussion on equity with the president of Compton College on Twitter where they “interview people who are in the world and who work on diversity, basic needs, equity and inclusion.” You can find him on Twitter by searching for #equitychat.
“It’s more about retiring as president in terms of, I feel like over the past 11 years I’ve done what I can to add value to Mesa and I think it’s time for the next person to come and take it and take Mesa where he wants to go next. I will always be there, I will always go to sporting events. Retirement is not about me, but the legacy you leave as people celebrate your successes… retirement is a moment in time, and I will be spending this year actively making sure the college is in the best shape that when the next leader comes along they can show the way they want to lead, ”she said.
Once she retires, Luster wants to write a few books about her experience with breast cancer and how baking helped her through that time. cancer and include a few recipes I made at the time, ”Luster added. She would also like to write fiction short stories.
“I am delighted to embark on the next chapter of my life which will include continued work on diversity, equity, justice and inclusion… This has been the absolute professional pinnacle and joy of my life as a be your president. Thank you for your support throughout this very meaningful journey, with respect and love, ”Luster concluded in his letter.
The process of finding a new president within the university district is tedious. It requires extensive research at this time in order to find a president next year, and if a president is not found by next year, then a temporary or interim president will be appointed.
“I will not only miss people, but also to see the impact we have on the lives of students and to know that you are part of something bigger than yourself. Take some time to breathe and don’t dwell on the things that you can’t control, if that doesn’t make your life better, just keep them away from you. You don’t have to go down the rabbit hole of every Instagram post. Get out of numb mode, we must have been numb ourselves last year, but get out of that numb mode if you haven’t already. Take risks, be daring, get out, no one will do it for you ”, she said.