The Santa Fe Community College Governing Board selected Cecilia Y.M. Cervantes, Ph.D., as Interim President in fall 2017. Since joining the college, she provided leadership to successfully pass a $17 million bond without raising taxes. The bond funding will support construction of an automotive center, fitness center improvements and facilities maintenance and upkeep. She has met with legislators to secure state funding and with public officials to sustain positive relations and keep them informed on college initiatives. In addition, she has guided the collective bargaining process with SFCC-AAUP faculty.
Dr. Cervantes has extensive experience working in higher education serving primarily in leadership roles at community colleges. With a demonstrated commitment to student success, Dr. Cervantes champions students of all ages, backgrounds and experience, with a focus on developing workforce connections, internships and apprenticeships, and professional opportunities. She has initiated work on strategic enrollment management, including providing access to greater segments of the community. She leads the implementation of SFCC’s strategic plan, working to improve graduation and retention rates, particularly among minority students, especially men, and on increasing the number of minority faculty and staff. She has provided campus-wide employee professional development opportunities, including campus safety drills and exercises. She also has continued supporting the work of policy review through the shared governance process.
Most recently, Dr. Cervantes was as a consultant in curriculum development at Minneapolis Public Schools. From 2008-2015, she was president of Hennepin Technical College, the largest technical college in Minnesota and the region, with more than 9,500 students in credit classes as well as 10,000 students in customized training and continuing education courses. Prior to that, she was president of College of Alameda, California (2002-2008). She served as Associate Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Career Technical Education at El Paso Community College (1998-2002), Provost Transmountain Campus El Paso Community College District, Texas (1998-1999); Associate Campus Director (Chief Instructional Officer) at Doña Ana Community College in Las Cruces (1994-1998), Vice President of Academic Affairs at Western New Mexico University in Silver City (1992-1994) and Dean of Continuing Education and Dean of Arts and Humanities at the Community College of Denver (1989-1992).
She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a minor in bilingual multicultural education and reading from the University of Colorado and an M.A. in Education and Reading and a B.A. in Spanish/Chicano Studies, both from the University of Texas at El Paso.