March 27, 2020
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley today announced appointments to two high-level positions critical to achieving the system’s , which aims to eliminate equity gaps, significantly increase transfers to a University of California or California State University campus and boost the numbers of those earning certificates and degrees or completing career education programs.
Lizette Navarette, vice president at the Community College League of California, has been appointed vice chancellor for the College Finance & Facilities Planning Division; Dr. Valerie Lundy-Wagner, a senior research analyst at California Competes, has been appointed assistant vice chancellor of research and data.
“These two appointments will help support and advance the work our colleges are undertaking to better serve students and our state as we strive to address income inequality through the promise and potential of public higher education,’’ Oakley said.
The College Finance & Facilities Planning Division oversees the distribution of local assistance and capital outlay funds for the 73 districts that make up the California Community Colleges and also represents the system in advocating for budget requests with the state Legislature and Department of Finance. The newly created position of assistant vice chancellor of research and data was established to better assist colleges with data reporting and analysis that informs strategies to achieve the goals and commitments set out in the Vision for Success.
Navarette for more than four years has served as vice president at the Community College League of California, where she oversees budget and policy advocacy for California's 73 community college districts. As vice president, Navarette works closely with elected trustees, chancellors and presidents to support the success of local districts and the students they serve. She first came to the Community College League in 2013 as a legislative advocate. She previously served as the associate director of regional relations at UC Riverside and the youth & education coordinator for the City of Riverside. Navarette earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from UC Riverside – where she also served as student body president – and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of La Verne. She is now earning a doctorate in education from UC Davis. Navarette is the first woman appointed as vice chancellor for the College Finance & Facilities Planning Division.
Lundy-Wagner is a nationally recognized researcher on equity in higher education, including how it connects to K-12 and workforce development. A former assistant professor and faculty fellow at New York University, Lundy-Wagner has worked as a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center, the leading authority on community college research and reform, and as an associate research director at Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce development and economic mobility. She currently works as a senior research analyst at California Competes, a policy research and advocacy organization. In her current role, she manages the research agenda design and execution, and for the last year has served as a key informant on development of the statewide longitudinal education-to-workforce data system. A Richmond, Calif. native, Lundy-Wagner earned her bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering at UCLA, her master’s degree in education at Stanford University and her Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania. She also was a postdoctoral scholar in engineering education at Purdue University.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the , a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the or follow us on and .