The California Community Colleges board of governors has selected Eloy Oakley as the new chancellor of the statewide two-year college system.
The system includes Las Positas College in Livermore.
Oakley, who will begin his duties Dec. 19, succeeds Brice W. Harris, who retired as chancellor in April after leading the community college system for nearly four years. Erik E. Skinner will continue to serve as interim chancellor until Oakley takes office.
Oakley is the superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College district and a member of the UC Board of Regents with close ties to the California State University system.
"Today the board of governors continued the tradition of selecting great chancellors to lead the California community
colleges,'' said board president Geoffrey L. Baum.
"Oakley is an innovative and tested leader who understands
how to operate successfully in a large, complex system of public higher education," Baum added. "In Oakley we see a change agent --
someone whose relentless focus on student success will help more students obtain certificates and degrees or transfer to four-year institutions on time."
Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. agreed.
"Eloy Oakley knows California's community colleges inside and out and has served at every level in the system, from teaching in the classroom to running a campus as superintendent," Brown said. "California's 113 community colleges and the 2.1 million students they serve are in good hands."
Oakley was named superintendent-president of the Long Beach Community College District in 2007. During his
tenure, he helped form the nationally recognized Long Beach College Promise, which engages high school administrators and teachers to work with college faculty and staff to create structured pathways for students to follow as they progress from one educational institution to the next.
"As a California native and a product of a California community college, I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the nation," Oakley said.
Oakley, who will become the first Latino to lead the California Community Colleges, is himself a community college
success story. After serving four years in the U.S. Army, he enrolled at Golden West College and then transferred to UC Irvine, where he received his bachelor degree in Environmental Analysis and Design
and Master's in Business Administration.
Prior to joining the Long Beach district, Oakley served as vice president of college services at Oxnard College, was assistant vice president of the Property & Casualty Division of Keenan & Associates, was manager of risk services at the Coast Community College
District and served as an adjunct faculty member for the Environmental Technology Certificate Program at Golden West College.
Oakley serves on the boards and committees of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the California Forward Leadership Council, the College Futures Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges, the YMCA of Greater Long Beach and the Long Beach Rotary Club. He also sits on the advisory board for the California State University, Long Beach Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year.