San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Mike Claire will retire in June 2023, he informed the Board of Trustees two weeks ago, according to a June 2 email to district staff. He plans to spend more time with family and "pursue other interests."
Claire, who joined the district 37 years ago, replaced disgraced chancellor emeritus Ron Galatolo, who faces 21 felony charges for misuse of funds in this role with the district. Claire became interim chancellor in September 2019, according to the district website.
"As chancellor I have focused on steadying the district, maintaining forward progress on important initiatives, and building a new team, all while steering the district through a major pandemic," Claire said in the email. "My priority has been to manage the many unforeseen changes that have come our way, while working to establish a solid foundation for our district and colleges. Although there is more to do in the coming year, I feel that this work is nearing completion."
Claire attended Cañada College before graduating from California State University, East Bay, with a bachelor's degree in business administration, according to his LinkedIn page. He then earned his MBA at CSU East Bay.
Before becoming an administrator, he joined College of San Mateo (CSM) as accounting professor in 1988. He served as a dean, a vice president of instruction, then president of CSM in 2007. He has taught at all three of the district's colleges.
"The impact of the SMCCCD on my family spans three generations starting with my parents and my aunts and uncles; continuing with my siblings and me, and ending with my children," he said. "It's not lost on me that over the years I have dropped off each of my daughters as toddlers at CSM's Child Development Center, picked them up as middle schoolers from the summer College for Kids program, handed each of them their diplomas at the CSM graduation, and said goodbye to them when they transferred to their first-choice universities."
Claire said he announced his retirement 13 months in advance so that he can set his goals with the Board of Trustees for next school year. He also knows there will be many openings for chancellor positions both locally and throughout the state in the coming year and he wants to give the board a head start on recruiting and hiring his successor, according to the email.