Dr. Rajen Vurdien has over 20 years of experience in the California Community College System. He has had the distinct and unique experience of holding positions of utmost responsibility in five flagship districts of the system, both single college and multi college, and both apportionment funded and basic aid. Dr. Vurdien retired from being the Interim Chancellor at City College of San Francisco for one year on June 30, 2021. Prior to that he was the Superintendent-President and Chief Executive Officer of Pasadena City College for four years before he retired for the first time. He served as President of Fullerton College, North Orange County Community College District for five years, Vice President for Instruction at Saddleback College, South Orange County Community College District, Mission Viejo, CA for six years. For four and a half years, he was Dean of Instruction overseeing Language Arts and Physical Education at Long Beach City College.
Dr. Vurdien was born and raised on the island of Mauritius where he attended British schools. He went to college in France on a full scholarship financed by the French government. After an M.A degree, he went back to Mauritius to teach English and French. He continued his studies with a Graduate degree in Teaching at the Mauritius Institute of Education. He came to the United States in 1985 and attended Temple University as a graduate/teaching assistant, earning a M.Ed. and a Ph.D. in Psychology of Reading and completed the coursework for a second Ph.D. in School Psychology. He also has an MBA from Long Island University and in 2002, completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University. He also attended workshops for college presidents offered by the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Community College League of California, in addition to participating in two three-day seminars for experienced presidents and fundraising for presidents at Harvard University. He was a Wheelhouse Fellow of the first class of College Presidents at University of California, Davis. In addition, he has chaired multiple accreditation visiting teams.
His teaching career spanned the whole range from K to graduate school, and administrative experience in 2-year as well as 4-year colleges and international organizations. Prior to coming to the United States, he was a teacher of English and French on the island of Mauritius, a special advisor to the Minister of Education of the Republic of the Seychelles, a United Nations Volunteer in the People’s Republic of China, and a Program Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programs in China. In the US, he directed the Graduate Programs in Education at Gwynedd Mercy University, PA, and coordinated the Reading Program at Long Island University, Southampton College. While at these two colleges, he also taught in various fields and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor by his peers at Gwynedd Mercy College. He served as an adjunct instructor at Montgomery County Community College during the same period.
Dr. Vurdien is active at local, state and national levels. He was on the Executive Board of the Pasadena Bio-Science Foundation. He was a trustee of the Buena Park City Library District, served as a mentor in the Association of California Community Colleges mentor program. He was a member of the Professional Development Commission, and the International Education Commission of the American Association of Community Colleges.
Dr. Vurdien is an avid jogger and fitness enthusiast exercising about an hour and a half every morning. He is an ardent reader and practices some form of meditation. He enjoys travelling and hiking.