Eloy Ortiz Oakley, president of California Community College, will temporarily serve as a special adviser to the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. announcement Monday comes from the system leader.
Oakley will start serving in the Biden administration on July 26 and will return to the post of prime minister in late autumn. The deputy principal Daisy Gonzales will serve as the acting principal in his absence.
Pamela Haynes, chairman of the system’s board of directors, called the move “a victory for California and the country.”
She said in the announcement: “Responding to this service call is a recognition of the work our system is leading.”
Oakley Become prime minister In 2016, California Community College enrolled 2.1 million students on 116 campuses. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of California System and was the Dean and President of Long Beach City College.
He said he plans to help advance President Biden’s “very positive and comprehensive agenda” on higher education policy. include The government strives to make community colleges free of tuition for two years nationwide, increase federal Pell grants, provide funds to improve student adherence and graduation rates, and support services for low-income students, students of color and first-generation students College and university students.
He said in a statement: “What I want to do is talk to individuals in all 50 states…and really pay attention to how these proposals work together to address most of the challenges facing the American working class, especially in the post-pandemic economy. “Interview. “This will be my top priority. Talk to ordinary Americans about why this is important and why this is not a Democratic or Republican issue. This is a Central American issue. This is an American working-class issue. This is mine. Hope, this is the information I will focus on.”
Like many community colleges across the country, the California community college system experienced an alarming decline in enrollment during the pandemic. From the fall of 2019 to the fall of 2020, enrollment fell by 12%, reducing 186,688 students.
Oakley said: “The past year has undoubtedly been a challenge, and I think this is why it is important to focus on the restoration of the types of communities served by California Community Colleges and National Community Colleges.” “This is California and national sensitivity. Period. I think this is also a critical moment to ensure that the president’s agenda is adopted and implemented as soon as possible to help more Americans recover from the pandemic.
He said that during his temporary leave, the state community college system will smoothly transition the leadership and will not “skip the beat” with Gonzalez at the helm.
Higher education leaders celebrated Oakley’s selection to the position.
Michele Siqueiros, chair of the Opportunity Movement at the University of California, said in a statement statement Oakley “has had an indelible impact on our community colleges by supporting student success and working to close the racial equality gap.” She is also enthusiastic about Gonzalez’s role as acting principal, the first Latino to hold this position in the California community college system.
“She was appointed as the acting principal of the largest community college system in the United States, which means a lot to students and is good for California,” Siqueiros said in a statement. “She is a tireless advocate for improving student performance and eliminating the persistent racial inequality in higher education.”
Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the Association of American Community Colleges, said he was initially surprised by Oakley’s decision to join the Biden team because Oakley is a “fixed device” in the California community college system. Nevertheless, he was “very happy”.
“Eloy is someone who is passionate about student success and completion,” Bumphus said. “And he has the ability to cooperate well with others. He has such wisdom and experience. He is a natural leader. People tend to follow him.”
Bumphus also said that Oakley has been paying attention to the needs of low-income students, which seems to be in line with the Biden administration’s higher education priorities.
American Board of Education Chairman Ted Mitchell said that Oakley’s selection is another sign of Biden’s commitment to community colleges and their mission.
“The Biden administration has expressed support for community colleges from the very beginning and said that it understands the importance of community colleges. I think Eloy’s appointment has strengthened this,” he said.
Mitchell added that Oakley and Cardona were both “extraordinarily excited” to hear the news.
He said: “They really brought a visionary and truly keen implementer into the department with a single appointment.” “I think Eloy will help immediately because the department and the secretary are working hard to complete Biden. The finishing touches of the education plan.”
Mitchell described Oakley as “an important leader in understanding, building, and promoting community colleges,” but as a member of the Board of Directors of the University of California, he is still someone who can establish partnerships between two-year and four-year universities.
“In the field of higher education, it is often divided into islands between community colleges, state colleges and independent institutions,” he said. “Eloy personally broke these silos and barriers. The transition between two-year and four-year systems, he had an extraordinary impact.”
As an example of Oakley’s leadership in bridging these two fields, he pointed out that Oakley Established The Long Beach Commitment Plan, which provides students with one year of free tuition for Long Beach City College, and prioritizes admission to California State University after transfer.
Larry Galizio, chairman and CEO of the California Community College Alliance, said that Oakley’s time at the helm of the system will give him the ability to deal with higher education policy at the federal level, as he interacts with state legislators and California Diversity cooperation between students and community colleges. He pointed out that the system includes both rural colleges and colleges in major cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“I think the incredible diversity of students we have represents the mission of many state and community colleges,” he said.
Oakley said that his time as prime minister in a state like California gave him valuable experience and prepared him for a new advisory role.
“California is a large and complex state,” he said. “We have urban communities, rural communities, colored communities, and white middle-class communities. Therefore, we have various communities, backgrounds and needs in California. I think this will help me understand the various challenges facing people across the country.”
Mitchell said that California can become a weather vane for economic and demographic changes in other parts of the United States because it is a “minority state” and “a state where economic inequality is expanding rather than shrinking.” He said Oakley had “a little understanding” of what it means to lead these trends when he took office.
“We Californians often see California as the future of our country,” he said. “Eloy has seen the future, and that is us.”
Galizio believes Oakley will continue to be “absolutely committed to diversity, fairness and tolerance” in his new role in the department.He highlighted the strategic plan developed by the California Community College System for the Office of the President as an example of Oakley’s priorities, and stated that “fairness runs through the entire policy, budget, and advocacy structure.” The goals outlined in Vision of the successful plan Including through instructional ways to increase the rate of degree acquisition, increase the rate of transfer of students to four-year universities, and cooperate with state legislators to expand financial aid to cover students’ non-tuition fees.
Galizio said: “He is the unanimous voice of underserved students and the community. These students and communities have been the hardest hit by the pandemic. “He changed the entire discussion at California Community College and the concerns at California Community College. The forefront of the company has improved diversity, fairness and inclusiveness, and I think he will continue to do so at the federal level. “