July 19, 2021
Contact: Melissa Villarin
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley will join the Biden administration in a temporary role to provide advice on higher education policy, and Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales will serve as acting chancellor until his return in the late fall, Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes announced Monday.
“Chancellor Oakley’s temporary assignment to work as a special advisor to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is a win for California and the nation, providing more opportunity to improve higher education policy and help millions of American families,” Haynes said. “Answering this call to service is a recognition of work our system is leading.”
Oakley’s new assignment starts July 26 at which time Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD., will serve as acting chancellor of the California Community Colleges, overseeing policy, fiscal and advocacy matters for the 116-college system that serves 2.1 million students.
Haynes said the Board of Governors fully supports Chancellor Oakley’s temporary assignment and has full confidence in Deputy Chancellor Gonzales and the Chancellor’s Office team in continuing to advance the system’s Vision for Success.
California’s community colleges continue to show progress toward meeting goals of the Vision for Success, which sets a path to increase certificate and degree attainment, to improve transfer and to close equity gaps. This approach -- and the hard work of everyone at our colleges -- have had far-reaching impacts throughout the state and the nation.
Oakley has overseen the California Community Colleges since 2016 and has helped lead transformational changes that place equity and student success squarely at the front of every decision affecting our colleges. Prior to becoming state chancellor Oakley served as president/superintendent of the Long Beach Community College District.
Gonzales is uniquely qualified to serve as acting chancellor, having overseen operational and strategic policy planning for the Chancellor’s Office since 2017. A fearless advocate for students, Gonzales is a former Aspen Institute presidential fellow who leads the system’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work, serves on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and was selected woman of the year by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis in 2021. She holds a master’s and doctorate degree in sociology from University of California, Santa Barbara.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 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 Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.