Dr. Chong to succeed Agrella as new president
Dr. Frank Chong will be SRJC’s next superintendent/president, only the fifth person to hold the position in the school’s 93-year history.
After more than a year of applications, interviews and committee meetings, the presidential search came to a close Nov. 18, when the SRJC Board of Trustees announced its decision to hire Chong, over the other finalist, Dr. Joel Kinnamon.
The Board selected Chong from a pool of 42 contenders vying to replace current President, Dr. Robert F. Agrella, who’s held the position for 21 years. Chong expressed his excitement to join the college and become an active member in the community.
“I am grateful for the trust that the Board of Trustees has placed in me and honored to become part of the vibrant, growing Sonoma County community,” Chong said, after learning he received the position. “I look forward to working with faculty, students, staff and the community to carry on the legacy of one of California’s oldest and finest community colleges, and to help maintain Santa Rosa Junior College as one of the leading community colleges in America.”
To assist the board, a Presidential Search Advisory Committee, comprised of college-wide representatives, and Professional Personnel Leasing, Inc., a search-consulting firm, provided expertise and suggestions in recommending finalists for the job.
“The Board is confident that Dr. Chong is the best fit to lead Santa Rosa Junior College considering the current and future challenges facing our college,” said Rick Call, Board of Trustees President. “Higher education is changing, and we feel Dr. Chong possesses the skills needed to help guide us through the next phase of our long history of success.“
Set to begin work on office Jan. 11, 2012, Chong’s appointment as superintendent/president will be formally announced by the Board on Dec. 13. The Board also stated, plans are in the making for a welcoming ceremony in the near future.
Chong is the current Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. He formerly served as President of Laney College in Oakland and Mission College in Santa Clara. He also held the position of Campus Dean and Dean of Student Affairs at San Francisco City College. In addition, he served as Special Assistant to the Speaker of the California Assembly, and as executive director of a Bay Area community-based non-profit organization.
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in social welfare and Asian American Studies, and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University. He also completed the Educational Management program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and earned his doctorate in educational administration, leadership and technology from Dowling College in Oakdale, New York.