The California Community Colleges Board of Governors appointed Eloy Ortiz Oakley as chancellor for the California Community Colleges beginning December 19, 2016.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley is best known throughout California and the nation for implementing innovative programs and policies that help students succeed in college. Oakley strongly believes that California’s rapidly changing economy demands a diverse workforce with quality credentials and that the state’s 114 community colleges play a pivotal role in moving California forward. Under Oakley’s leadership, the California Community Colleges published the Vision for Success which lays out a focused strategy on increasing the social and economic mobility of all Californians. Since becoming chancellor, Oakley has positioned the California Community Colleges as a critical player nationally in maintaining the global competitiveness of the nation’s workforce.
Oakley was appointed as the Superintendent-President of the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) in 2007 where he served until the end of 2016. While there he led one of the most diverse community colleges in the nation and provided statewide and national leadership on the issue of improving the education outcomes of historically underrepresented students. During his tenure at LBCCD he co-founded the nationally recognized Long Beach College Promise. For his efforts, the James Irvine Foundation recognized him with their 2014 Leadership Award. Also, in 2014, Gov. Brown appointed Oakley to the University of California Board of Regents. In this role, Oakley is using his experiences to better serve all Californians in higher education.
In 2014, he was invited to provide testimony on minority serving institutions to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee. In his remarks, Oakley stressed that if America is to remain competitive, it must adopt innovative reforms to ensure its citizens are provided a realistic opportunity to succeed in college, regardless of their socioeconomic, racial or ethnic background. Finally, in November of 2016, President Obama recognized him as a White House Champion of Change for his work promoting and supporting the national college promise movement.
Oakley’s trailblazing efforts have been acknowledged through his appointments to the Rework America Taskforce, the California Chamber of Commerce, the University of California Board of Regents, the Fair Shake Commission, the College Futures Foundation and the LA 2028 Advisory Board. He is frequently invited to speak to education, philanthropic and business organizations throughout the nation.
Oakley himself is a community college success story. After serving four years in the U.S. Army, he enrolled at Golden West College. He then transferred to the University of California, Irvine where he received his degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis and Design and Master of Business Administration.