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News: PACCD Trustees Select Dr. Mark Rocha as President of Pasadena City College

Dr. Mark Rocha

The Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Mark Rocha as superintendent/president of Pasadena City College. Dr. Rocha will begin his post on July 1, 2010.

“PCC looks forward to working with Dr. Rocha for many years to come to build a bright future for the college and our community,” said Dr. Hilary Bradbury-Huang, PACCD Board president. “We especially appreciate the campus and community pulling together as reflected at this meeting today, rolling up our sleeves, and beginning the task of working together for the advancement of PCC, commensurate with its distinguished reputation. We look forward to greeting Dr. Rocha in person and celebrating his arrival to our community at an upcoming board meeting.”

“I am deeply honored by this appointment by the Board of Trustees to serve Pasadena City College as its next superintendent/president,” Dr. Rocha said. “I am grateful for the confidence the Board has placed in me. I come to PCC with profound respect for its long and proud tradition of academic excellence. PCC has an outstanding faculty and I look forward to listening and learning more about how I can support teaching and student success. I look forward to getting right to work with the faculty, staff and administration.”

Dr. Rocha also expressed thanks to current president Dr. Lisa Sugimoto. “President Sugimoto has done a great job and I hope I can convince her to stay on as part of the team,” he said.

The appointment of Dr. Rocha was the culmination of a nationwide search conducted by Academic Search Incorporated and the PACCD. The selection process included campus candidate forums, candidate meetings with campus groups and community members, and extensive input from students, faculty, staff, and community members. In their comments, many faculty noted Dr. Rocha’s experience and knowledge in basic skills and his deep commitment to student success, especially in STEM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) and workforce education. The PACCD Board carefully reviewed and considered all faculty and staff input and voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Rocha as PCC president at its June 9 meeting.

“I am very pleased at the decision of the Board of Trustees to appoint Dr. Mark Rocha as the next president of Pasadena City College,” said Dr. Jack Scott, California Community College chancellor. “Dr. Rocha has a wealth of experience in community college administration, including a very successful tenure as president of West Los Angeles College. I have heard many glowing reports about his outstanding work at that college. I predict a bright future for Pasadena City College as Mark Rocha works with the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff at PCC in the years ahead.”

Dr. Rocha has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, including nine years of experience in the California community college system, most recently as president of West Los Angeles College in the Los Angeles Community College District. He brings extensive experience working in a large, multi-college district.

“We were highly impressed with Dr. Rocha’s collegial teamwork approach at West Los Angeles College that resulted in great progress in the areas of enrollment, budget and external grants and fundraising,” Dr. Bradbury-Huang said.

During the last four years as president of West Los Angeles College, Dr. Rocha also led a major bond construction program that has transformed the campus and has provided faculty and students with state-of-the-art instructional technology. Dr. Rocha also serves as chair of the Workforce Education Task Force for 2nd District Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and is a member of the Board of Councilors of the Rossier School of Education of the University of Southern California.

Previously, Dr. Rocha served as Mission College’s vice president of Academic Affairs. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rocha’s administrative career has included service as associate dean and dean in the California State University System and provost at Seton Hall University.

An English professor by training, Dr. Rocha received his Ph.D. in English from USC; his master’s degree from California State University, Fullerton; and his bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.

In 1993, Dr. Rocha was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and taught for a year in Caracas, Venezuela at the Universidad Simòn Bolìvar. His scholarly work is in the field of American drama and theater and includes publications on the playwrights August Wilson and Tennessee Williams, among others. Dr. Rocha has two sons, Brendan, 19, and Samuel, 13, and resides in Sherman Oaks with his wife, Nancy. A runner, Dr. Rocha finished the inaugural Pasadena Marathon last March.

About Pasadena City College
Established in 1924, Pasadena City College has been serving the San Gabriel Valley for more than 85 years. PCC enrolls more than 30,000 students each semester and offers 60 academic and 76 Career and Technical Education programs. The main college campus occupies an idyllic 53-acre site, while the Community Education Center and Child Development Center are located in separate facilities. The college is renowned for its high student transfer rate, national mathematics and forensic honors, and extensive study abroad offerings. PCC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Release Date: 07/08/2010
Contact: Juan F. Gutierrez , Director, Public Relations
Phone: (626) 585-7315

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