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Oakley Resigns as CCC Chancellor

July 14, 2022

Eloy Oakley, California Community Colleges Chancellor 2016-2022After six years as chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Eloy Oakley announced he will step down Aug. 1 to head up a student equity-focused nonprofit where he has been a board member for nearly a decade.

The CCC Board of Governors will appoint an interim chancellor at its scheduled July 25 meeting and begin a search for a permanent replacement.

Oakley’s departure comes a year after he took a temporary role with the Biden administration as a special advisor to U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. Though he returned to his statewide post in November, the Chancellor’s Office this spring underwent a realignment that placed all divisions under Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales.

As chancellor Oakley championed equity and college affordability, using the Vision for Success as a roadmap to close achievement gaps, increase transfer rates and boost the number of students earning certificates and degrees.

According to the CCC Chancellor’s Office, during Oakley’s tenure:

  • The number of students earning a college credential increased by 32 percent and the number of students earning Associate Degrees for Transfer more than doubled.
  • Student-placement testing was ended systemwide.
  • The CCC became the largest college system to end required remedial education. As a result, one-year completion of transfer-level courses increased from 49 percent to 67 percent in English, and over four years from 26 percent to 50 percent in mathematics.
  • A systemwide call to action to tackle campus culture issues and confront systemic racism led the Board of Governors to issue new regulations for hiring practices and tenure review related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility.
  • Financial aid opportunities to community college students were expanded through the California College Promise Grant and changes to Cal Grant eligibility.
  • The system began investing state resources to address student housing.
  • The CCC successfully sued the previous U.S. secretary of education to stop a policy that could have denied emergency pandemic relief to community college students, including veterans and undocumented students.

A joint statement from the Community College League of California, California Community College Trustees board, and the Chief Executive Offices of the California Community Colleges, called Oakley “an exemplary leader and champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility during his tenure as Chancellor of the California Community Colleges—pushing for systemic change in all areas of our higher education system, including addressing students’ basic needs, reducing barriers to degree attainment, and expanding financial aid opportunities for students.”

However, Oakley’s policy positions frequently put him at odds with college faculty. These included a new performance-based funding formula, mandated reporting, and support for the online college Calbright. In 2019, Oakley received no-confidence votes from both the Faculty Association for the California Community Colleges and the executive council of the California Federation of Teachers.

In his new post as head of the College Futures Foundation, Oakley will continue to promote diversity and equity, affordability, and student achievement in higher education.

Read the full announcement from the CCC Chancellor’s Office here.