Grossmont President Plans for Retirement

President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh discusses his time at Grossmont College, and his plans for retirement.


Mardeen Ahmad, Staff Writer

After serving as Grossmont College President for five years, Dr. Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh is retiring at the end of this semester. Abu-Ghazaleh announced his early retirement plans back in September. 

“I am leaving my post to spend more quality time with my wife,” he stated in his announcement. He reiterated that when asked if COVID-19 had anything to do with his early retirement. He truly would just like to spend more time with his wife, whom he met in Glendale, Calif. 

 Abu Ghazaleh and his wife got married when he was 24-years-old.

“You know I was always working, and she was always working as well,” said Abu-Ghazaleh. Now 57, he feels it’s time for him and his wife to do the traveling they have always wanted to do. 

 Born in Jordan to Palestinian parents, Abu-Ghazaleh grew up in a British ruled neighborhood in Qatar. 

“We were divided and sort of ranked by ethnicity,” Abu-Ghazaleh said. He explained how as a youth he would be “living it up” with the British on boats, they would cross over the neighborhood and hang out with his ethnic friends. So, in that regard, Abu-Ghazaleh has led a unique life, experiencing both privilege and prejudice. 

With Grossmont being such a culturally diverse college, it was necessary to ask how he feels he has served as the college’s president. 

Abu-Ghazaleh said: “Whether we like it or not, we all have predisposed biases. It was just important to find faculty who would not let these biases affect how they interacted with students.”  

He also had a hand in administering our new annual National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates (NACC), a survey about the racial climate on our campus. 

For Abu-Ghazaleh, retiring doesn’t necessarily mean settling down and reading a book on the couch. 

“I haven’t read for pleasure in years, just haven’t had the time. It would be nice to be able to but that isn’t really what I’m looking forward to. I’m very kinesthetic, I love to be active,” Abu-Ghazaleh said. 

 As for plans for after retirement, besides spending time with his wife and traveling, he has a SCUBA diving passion, In fact, he’d like to dabble in the professional side of SCUBA diving.

“I mean that’s the privilege of retirement,” Abu-Ghazaleh said. “I could try teaching SCUBA diving and if a week later I decide I don’t like it, it’s not a problem.”

Abu-Ghazaleh’s last day is Jan. 4, 2021.