The Santa Monica College Presidential Search Committee has forwarded to the board of trustees the names of three candidates for consideration as finalists for the college president position.

The search for a new president began early this year after Piedad Robertson left the president’s position in January to become president of Denver-based Education Commission of the States.

Thomas Donner, former college executive vice president, has served as interim president since Robertson resigned.

Finalists are:

n Deborah Blue, vice president of policy and research for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in Novato;

n G. Jeremiah Ryan, president of Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey; and

n Chui Tsang, president of San Jose City College.

Each of the finalists will spend a full day on campus for interviews with the board of trustees and to appear at public forums to speak and answer questions.

The forums will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, November 14th to 16th.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank the Presidential Search Committee for its hard and conscientious work and for the many hours devoted to this important task,” said trustees board chair Carole Currey.

The recommendations to the trustees board mark a major step in the college’s search process, which began early this year, Currey said.

The college undertook a national search that included mailings, use of e-mail lists, and advertising in a variety of publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Women in Higher Education, Asian Week, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, and Black Careers.

The Presidential Search Committee — which included college employees, students and Santa Monica community members — screened applications and interviewed semi-finalists for the position.