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School Chief Submits His Resignation

January 11, 1987|BOB WILLIAMS | Times Staff Writer

TORRANCE — Rafael L. Cortada has formally submitted his resignation as president of El Camino College after concluding an agreement to head the University of the District of Columbia. El Camino's trustees are expected to accept the resignation Monday and release Cortada from his contract, which has three years to run.

Cortada, 52, will remain at his post here until at least the end of the spring semester, El Camino officials said. He will assume the new position next fall. His resignation is effective Aug. 21.

The El Camino board also will decide Monday whether to hire an executive search firm to conduct a nationwide survey for a new president, the route used to pick Cortada in 1982. He had been president of Community College of Baltimore for five years.

Cortada, who is credited with innovations at El Camino, particularly in high-tech education, disclosed in November that he had been offered the job at the four-year, 11,000-student university in Washington.

Delayed Resigning

He delayed submitting his resignation from his $80,000-a-year job until completing contract negotiations with the Washington school. The maximum salary there is $81,446 and the position has fringe benefits, including a rent-free home and chauffeured car.

At El Camino, a two-year community college at the north edge of Torrance in county territory, Cortada introduced an honors program for high school seniors, established the Center for the Arts, revised part of the curriculum and started programs in robotics and laser optics.

He used a $1.5-million grant from aerospace companies to set up a computer lab to teach advanced techniques for designing and manufacturing equipment and for architectural design.

"Cortada did a lot to bring El Camino up to date and strengthen our ties with industry," one official said.

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