News Release -- West Hills Community College District Announces Update on Search for New Chancellor

The West Hills Community College District (WHCCD) is pleased to announce the search for a new Chancellor is progressing to the next phase. This process has involved rigorous evaluation of highly qualified candidates dedicated to advancing the district’s educational excellence and community engagement mission.

Following first-level interviews, the search committee has shortlisted three distinguished finalists, each bringing a wealth of experience and vision to the role. The candidates are Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay, Dr. Robert Pimentel, and Dr. Carla Tweed. Open forums will be held on Wednesday, May 29, at the WHCCD District Office located at 275 Phelps Ave Coalinga, CA 93210, with a YouTube link provided for virtual attendance. The May 29 forum schedule is as follows: 

10:00 am: Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay

 11:00 am: Dr. Carla Tweed

 12:00 pm: Dr. Robert Pimentel

 Final interviews with the Board of Trustees are scheduled for May 30.

The community is invited to participate in the open forums on May 29.  Forums are crucial to the selection process, allowing stakeholders to hear directly from the candidates and ask questions. Questions for candidates must be submitted in advance to   Those unable to attend can watch the forums on YouTube using the following link.

The final interviews with the Board of Trustees will occur on May 30, after which the Board will deliberate and decide.

Candidate Bios:


Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay has been a transformational leader in multiple community college districts in California. He served as the President of Columbia College and Modesto Junior College (MJC), both within Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) from July 2018 to January 2023. His last assignment was the Interim President of Woodland Community College. As the Executive Vice President at Cypress College from July 2013 to July 2018, Dr. Bandyopadhyay was responsible for both instructional programs and student services. The opportunity to connect with local businesses for sustainable regional economic growth, reimagine future of education in collaboration with campus constituencies, improve infrastructure to incorporate advanced instructional methodologies and innovative student services, engage a diverse community of learners through culturally sensitive curriculum, and increase financial resources via advocacy & innovative fundraising interests Dr. Bandyopadhyay to aspire for the leadership position at West Hills Community College District.

pimentelA valley native, Dr. Robert Pimentel has dedicated his entire career to serving the Central Valley community. For the past two years, he has been the President of Fresno City College, the largest community college in the region. Prior to this role, he served as the Vice President of Educational Services and Institutional Effectiveness at the same institution. Before joining Fresno City College, Dr. Pimentel spent nearly 18 years with the West Hills Community College District, working in various capacities at both campuses and the district office. He concluded his tenure there as the Associate Dean of Instruction at Coalinga College. As the President of Fresno City College, Dr. Pimentel has extensive experience in strategic planning, educational planning, enrollment management, construction projects, and campus-wide safety matters. He has worked closely with faculty, staff, and administrators, fostering effective communication and collegial consultation on academic and professional matters.

tweedDr. Carla Tweed is a dedicated educational leader with extensive experience in both private and community college systems. Currently serving as President of Coalinga College, Dr. Tweed has successfully enhanced student success and community engagement through innovative initiatives and strategic partnerships. Previously, Dr. Tweed held key senior roles including Executive Vice President, Acting President, and Instructional Dean in the California Community College system and President at a private college. A first-generation college graduate, born and raised in the Central Valley, Dr. Tweed began her educational journey at West Hills College, fueling her passion for fostering educational opportunities. She holds a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University. Dr. Tweed is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has led numerous programs to develop future leaders and support faculty and staff. Her vision focuses on promoting academic excellence, enhancing student support services, and strengthening community ties.