After a nationwide search that turned up 62 applicants, trustees of El Camino College picked Sam Schauerman, a veteran administrator at the campus, to succeed outgoing President Rafael L. Cortada.
Schauerman, 58, vice president of instruction since 1977 and an administrator at El Camino for 22 years, will take over after Cortada leaves in August to head the University of the District of Columbia.
Cortada, 52, announced early this year that he had been selected as president of the four-year college in the nation's capital. El Camino officials said his resignation takes effect Aug. 21, but that his last day on campus will be July 1 because of accumulated vacation time.
Competition Called Keen
Board President Lila Hummel said competition for the presidency at El Camino, the largest single-campus community college in the nation with about 30,000 students, was "extremely keen. We considered many candidates with outstanding qualifications and finally settled on Sam as the best choice."
The college is north of Torrance in county territory.
Schauerman declined to be interviewed after the board announced its choice last week, saying he wanted to wait for the board's formal ratification of his appointment, scheduled for Monday. He put in his first bid for the post five years ago. At that time, the board picked Cortada, then president of the Community College of Baltimore, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of longtime President Stuart Marsee.
El Camino officials said that Schauerman's salary, currently $74,000 a year, will be determined through negotiations, but is expected to be at least the $80,000 received by Cortada.
John Renley, El Camino's vice president for student and personnel services, was the only other contender from the campus after an advisory committee and trustees narrowed the candidates down to 10 finalists.
"Everybody I've talked with is very happy about Sam's appointment," said Merrill Jones, a photography instructor and president of the American Federation of Teachers local. "We all know and respect his abilities, and we believe we will be able to work together with him very well as president."
In a Times interview in February, after Cortada announced his resignation, Jones said many on the faculty felt the school had lost its spirit of "collegiality and camaraderie" during Cortada's tenure. But Cortada's supporters praised him for breaking up "an old-boy network" that had hindered the hiring and promotion of women and minorities.
Under Cortada, who was also credited with updating curriculum and introducing innovative programs, the number of female administrators almost doubled and minority representation on the teaching staff rose from 14.5% to 17.4%.
Trustee Stanley L. Dunn said Schauerman has gained community support through activities in local groups such as the Rotary Club, which he now serves as district governor.
"His roots are here," Dunn said. "He has already established the rapport with campus and community people that he needs to provide strong and positive leadership."
A native of Colorado, Schauerman received his doctorate in education from UCLA. He taught math in Colorado schools until taking his first job at El Camino as an administrative assistant in 1965. He was promoted to dean of physical sciences the following year. In 1977, he rose to vice president in charge of instruction for the college's nine divisions.
Schauerman and his wife, Deloris, a teacher at Coast Christian School in Redondo Beach, live in Torrance and have four children.
Schauerman will be the fourth El Camino president since the two-year school was founded 40 years ago. Forrest G. Murdoch served from 1947 to 1958, Marsee from 1958 to 1982, then Cortada.