Pelham steps down from office

David Pelham’s last day as president of Cuesta College was Wednesday, about two weeks sooner than first expected, he stated in a memo.

The outgoing president said he was asked to step aside this week after the college’s Board of Trustees finalized its contract with incoming interim President Gil Stork, who takes over on Jan. 1.

In the meantime, Cathleen Greiner will serve as interim administrator in charge, Pelham said.

Pelham notified faculty, staff and the school’s Board of Trustees in November that he planned to resign from his post to direct a college in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. He was initially expected to stay at Cuesta through the end of this month.

In an e-mail memo Wednesday, Pelham stated that the board’s request for him to step down early was not unexpected.

“(The board) informed me, since a contract for your new Superintendent/President has been finalized, they thought it best for me to step aside immediately,” he wrote. “This is a topic I have discussed with the board before and the request was not a surprise.”

Pelham has said that an inflexible campus culture kept him from bringing positive change to the college.

He came to Cuesta in 2008 after serving as superintendent/president of the College of the Siskiyous in Weed, located in Northern California.

His tenure was the shortest of any of the five presidents in Cuesta’s 45-year history.