California Community College Chancellor steps down to focus on equity foundation

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley has served as chancellor for six years.
California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley has served as chancellor for six years. Photo credit California Community Colleges

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley announced he is stepping down from his post on Thursday to lead a foundation focused on higher education equity, according to a press release.

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Oakley has managed the 116-college system for the last six years and will officially step down on Aug. 1.

"Chancellor Oakley has been an incredible leader and champion for higher education, setting California's community colleges on a course for transformational change," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in the release. "As we execute on the vision for a more equitable, affordable, and student-centered system of higher education, I look forward to continuing to work with Chancellor Oakley in his new role, along with the strong leadership in the Chancellor’s Office and at campuses throughout the state."

Oakley worked to improve equity in his role as chancellor, and his role will build on that effort. The College Futures Foundation aims to create better support for those who are low-income or students of color to complete their higher education goals.

During his six-year term, Oakley along with the Board of Governors, "ushered in the community college system's Vision for Success, a student-centered strategic roadmap to close equity gaps, increase transfer and boost the number of students earning certificates and degrees," said the release.

"Serving as chancellor of the community college system that gave me the opportunity to succeed in higher education has been the most rewarding experience of my life," Oakley said in the press release. "I am so proud of what the Chancellor's Office team has accomplished and of the amazing students that we serve. I am forever grateful to Gov. Newsom, former Gov. Jerry Brown, and the members of the Board of Governors for the opportunity and the privilege to serve the California community colleges and the great State of California."

The board will meet in July to appoint an interim chancellor and engage in a comprehensive search for a permanent chancellor.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: California Community Colleges