Santa Monica College (SMC) executive vice president Randal Lawson, a Mar Vista resident and 29-year veteran of the college who rose from music professor to the second-highest ranking senior administrator, has received the 2007-08 Carter Doran Leadership Award.

The award was given by the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers and is named after an educator who served in faculty, management and chief instructional positions at Mt. San Antonio College and College of the Canyons.

“The recipient of this award has led with heart, demonstrated creativity, shown sustained commitment to addressing instructional changes, and has made a profound impact on a college and/or a professional organization,” said Lori Gaskin, president of the Chief Instructional Officers organization and vice president of academic affairs and student services at Lake Tahoe Community College. “Randy Lawson embodies the traits that endeared us so much to Carter Doran, including integrity, compassion, kindness and dedication to the common good.”

Lawson was appointed executive vice president in January 2005. From 1998 through 2004, he served as vice president of Academic Affairs.

He had previously served in several administrative positions, including associate vice president of academic affairs, administrative dean of instruction, administrative dean of academic personnel and dean of arts.

After joining the SMC faculty in 1979, Lawson served as Music Department chair and was the first coordinator of the Arts Mentor Program.

Elected academic senate president in 1987, he was also a member of the Educational Policies Committee of the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges during that academic year.

Lawson holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Oklahoma City University and a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California.

As a pianist, he has performed in solo and chamber music recitals throughout Southern California and has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra, University of Southern California Symphony Orchestra, and Santa Monica College Orchestra.

As the college’s chief instructional officer, he led in the development of the curriculum for the successful Academy of Entertainment and Technology, in the creation of the High School Dual Enrollment Program, and in facilitating significant growth in the college’s general instructional program, SMC officials said.

Lawson serves as accreditation liaison officer and he co-chaired the 1998 and 2004 accreditation self-study processes.

A member of the Executive Board of the California Community Colleges Chief Instructional Officers organization since 2000, Lawson served as board president in 2002-03 and again in 2006-07.

He is also a member of the Educational Testing Service National Community College Advisory Council.