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Southwestern Community College President Resigns

— The embattled president of Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday. Dr. Raj K. Chopra is stepping down almost two years before his contract officially ends.

Chopra was disliked by the college's faculty union and some student groups. The makeup of the college board of trustees also changed this month after the November elections. It is now a different board than the one that originially hired Chopra in 2007.

Chris Bender, the spokesman for Southwestern College, says Chopra is leaving but services for students will remain the same.

"Any time there is a change in leadership at any major community institution, (people) get caught off-guard," he said. "I think what is important is that institution keeps going forward."

In a written statement, Chorpa says it's the "right time" for this departure, citing new construction projects are underway and the college accreditation process is on track.

The new governing board bought-out Chopra's contract. Chopra will get the equivalent of six month's salary.

Southwestern is the only higher education institution in the South Bay. Roughly 20,000 students attend the two-year college.

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