President/Superintendent of Cerritos College Appointed Chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District
Mark Wallace (Monday, June 30, 2008)
562-860-2451, Ext. 2292
The San Bernardino Community College District appointed Dr. Noelia Vela as the new Chancellor of the multi-college district. The appointment was made at the June 26 Board of Trustees meeting in San Bernardino. The District includes San Bernardino Valley College, Crafton Hills College, the KVCR public television and radio stations, and the Division of Corporate and Economic Development serving the Inland Empire. The district serves nearly 18,000 credit students between the two colleges.
“It has been a privilege to serve as president of Cerritos College and it has been a challenging and rewarding experience for me,” said Dr. Vela. “While four years may not seem like a long time, much has been accomplished for our students in collaboration with many people at the college and from the communities we serve. Cerritos College has a long history of working together with our business and education colleagues to attract resources and to develop partnerships. We expanded on that over the last four years and I believe we have made a difference in our service to our students and communities.”
Dr. Vela began her service as President/ Superintendent of Cerritos College in 2004. Among her many accomplishments was encouraging faculty to apply for federal, state, business, and industry grants and an 80% success rate in funded grant requests. In 2006-07 this amounted to almost $2 million in funding for the college. She was also instrumental in developing the growing role the college has in statewide career and technical education including an ongoing dialog with Lt. Governor John Garamendi, who serves as the chair of the California Commission for Economic Development.
With Dr. Vela’s leadership, the district was successful in gaining the Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office approval of $30 million for the replacement of the Burnight Center. Additional accomplishments also include the conversion of classrooms to reach an 80% level of technological enhancement across the campus, the establishment of the Southland Cerritos Center for Transportation Technologies, the completion of the new science building, the seismic retrofitting of several campus buildings, and partnerships with the ABC, Bellflower, Downey, Norwalk-La Mirada, and Southeast ROP school districts.
Dr. Vela is due to begin her new job in San Bernardino on July 21. She is very quickly concluding her duties at Cerritos College. The Board of Trustees at Cerritos College will meet to determine the transition process.
(Editors – The San Bernardino Community College District news release is included herein.)
SBCCD Names New Chancellor
Donna Hoffmann (Wed, June 25, 2008)
San Bernardino Community College District
Dr. Noelia Vela, president/superintendent of Cerritos College, has been selected Chancellor of the San Bernardino Community College District, pending Board approval on June 26. Dr. Vela will succeed Dr. Donald F. Averill who is retiring June 30 after eight years with SBCCD and over 40 years in higher education.
"The Board of Trustees has an opportunity this Thursday to bring an experienced community college leader to our district when we vote to employ Dr. Noelia Vela as our next Chancellor," said Board President Chuck Terrell. "Dr. Vela has demonstrated in her prior leadership positions many of the assets Dr. Don Averill brought to the San Bernardino Community College District in the eight years he was Chancellor."
The plan is to welcome Dr. Vela to the district July 2l, 2008 when she completes her work at Cerritos College.
"San Bernardino Community College District has long been known for its excellence and I'm excited about the challenge and opportunity to take it to the next level of development," said Vela when contacted about her impending appointment. "The district has had and will continue to have a key role in the growth and future of the Inland Empire and I'm looking forward to being part of that."
Vela started her education career as a counselor in 1974, moved up through the student services divisions of various California colleges until her appointment as President of Evergreen Valley College in 1993. She moved from there to become President of Pima Community College's Downtown Campus in Tucson, Arizona in 1997. Vela returned to California in her current position at Cerritos College in 2004.
Through her leadership at Cerritos College, the college has a new strategic plan, facilities master plan, technology plan and a revitalized mission statement. Vela was instrumental in expanding partnerships including the Partnership for Quality Education with K-12 districts, establishing the Southland/Cerritos Center for Transportation Technologies and is currently transforming the campus with the support of a general obligation bond.
During her tenure at Pima Community College's Downtown Campus, Vela led and completed a physical and program transformation while growing its enrollment.
Vela currently serves on the Boards of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the National Institute of Leadership Development and the National Community College Hispanic Council. She is a member of the Community College League of California (CCLC) Legislative Committee and serves on the AACC Global Education Committee.
A native of Texas, Vela grew up in Chicago, received her bachelor's degree in business and master's degree in counseling from Illinois State University and her doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of San Diego.
The San Bernardino Community College District encompasses San Bernardino Valley College, Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, KVCR-FM/TV and the Division of Corporate and Economic Development.