Eloy Oakley to Resign as California Community College Chancellor

Eloy Oakley to Resign as California Community College Chancellor
Eloy Oakley (Courtesy of California Community Colleges)

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley announced his resignation June 16 and will be joining a private foundation.

Oakley has been the Chancellor of the nation's largest community college system since 2016. Prior to that, he served at the Long Beach Community College District as president and superintendent for nine years.

The Board of Governors will meet in July to appoint an interim chancellor and search for a permanent chancellor, according to a statement issued by California Community Colleges.

"Serving as chancellor of the community college system that gave me the opportunity to succeed in higher education has been the most rewarding experience of my life,” Oakley said

Starting Aug. 1, Oakley will step into College Futures Foundation as the new president and CEO to continue his leadership in higher education. The Foundation, established in 2005, is an educational consultant agency that aims to help low-income and minority students complete a bachelor’s degree.

“College Futures is actively working, along with our grantee partners, to build the equitable education system of the future so that every student can achieve their dreams and participate in an inclusive and robust economy. That work is deeply personal,” Oakley said in a statement.

During his tenure, Oakley adopted the Vision for Success, a set of goals and commitments designed to improve student outcomes and close the achievement gap.

“So much of our work has been informed by the Vision for Success. It has been and will continue to be our North Star, and the Board of Governors is steadfast in its commitment to those principles and values,” Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes said in a statement.

In addition, Oakley had been a longtime supporter of test-free admissions to the University of California (UC) system, serving as a UC Board of Regents member. When the standardized tests were halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakley urged the board members to permanently remove the standardized tests from UC admission requirements.

Oakley also pushed to end placement tests and remedial education programs, courses that may be required for students to build up their skills before they are allowed to take regular college courses in the California Community College system, according to the statement.

Under his effort, the number of students earning a college credential increased by 32 percent and students earning Associate Degrees for Transfer more than doubled since the 2015–2016 school year.

“Chancellor Oakley has been an incredible leader and champion for higher education, setting California’s community colleges on a course for transformational change,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.