“Students have and always will be Dr. Daisy Gonzales’ north star,” said Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity. “Her appointment as acting chancellor of the nation’s largest community college system is monumental for students and good for California. She is a tireless advocate for improving student outcomes and closing racial inequities that persist in higher education. She is a student-centered leader that can ensure more California students have the opportunity to go to college and succeed regardless of their race/ethnicity, income status, or zip code.”
Dr. Gonzales assumes this role as an advocate for student success, informed by her own experiences as a former educator and as a Latina and former foster youth who was among the first in her family to graduate from college and earn a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has led the ambitious and equity-minded work outlined in the California Community Colleges’ Vision for Success, which seeks to close racial equity gaps in college access and success and improve transfer for students. Her leadership on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force has spearheaded efforts to address structural racism across the 116 community colleges. She also served on Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Taskforce, which issued a report outlining how the state’s higher education systems can make a courageous recovery from COVID-19 while addressing longstanding inequities to better serve students.
As Chancellor, Eloy Ortiz Oakley has shaped a bold legacy for the California Community Colleges. His audacious leadership and commitment to equity and student success has never been just a slogan - he has championed policy and critical campus change to eliminate barriers for students through his work building a stronger transfer pathway, eliminating ineffective and inequitable placement practices, expanding access to college-level course work for all students, and securing the critical funding needed for our community colleges while committing to a more diverse and inclusive workforce. He is rightfully recognized nationally for his courageous, effective and responsive leadership.
“We thank Chancellor Oakley for his trailblazing leadership and his unwavering commitment to students. He has had an indelible impact on our community colleges through his support for student success and dedication to eliminating racial equity gaps, ensuring our state has the educated and diverse workforce that is imperative to the success of California. We know he will be an excellent champion for all students in his role at the U.S. Department of Education,” concluded Siqueiros.