Released: March 28, 2019
Santa Fe Community College’s Governing Board announces that it has selected Rebecca K. “Becky” Rowley, Ph.D., as the ninth president of the college. Rowley has been president of Clovis Community College in Clovis, New Mexico since 2011. Prior to becoming president, she was Executive Vice President (Academics and Student Services) at CCC. Before moving into administration, she taught English as a fulltime faculty member at Clovis Community College for seven years.
Since 2015, Rowley has been chair of the New Mexico Independent Community Colleges (NMICC). As chair of this group, Rowley regularly presents before the Legislative Finance Committee, House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees on behalf of NMICC.
Rowley was a member of the 2009 Core Class of Leadership New Mexico. In 2018, she was named a “Woman of Influence” by Albuquerque Business First.
Board member Martha Romero, co-chair of the SFCC presidential search committee, said, “We are thrilled to announce the governing board’s selection of Dr. Rebecca Rowley as Santa Fe Community College’s next president. The governing board was impressed with the caliber of all of the candidates, but ultimately selected Dr. Rowley to lead the college to move forward in its ongoing mission to empower students and strengthen our community. The board is pleased that Dr. Rowley can continue to strengthen SFCC’s record of developing innovative programs and providing equitable learning environments for all of our students. ”
Co-chair of the search committee and Board Chair, Linda Siegle added, “While selecting a president is one of the Board’s greatest responsibilities, we deeply value the public’s input. It was a privilege to meet all of the qualified candidates. The Board decided Dr. Rowley was the best candidate to meet our community’s needs. She will be a great leader as we continue to grow the college as a community hub for higher education and economic development. One of her greatest strengths has been her innovative approach to student success.”
Rowley said, “I am honored to be selected for the position, and I look forward to working with the board, faculty, staff and students of SFCC. I am proud to be part of this great college!”
As president, Rowley focused on moving Clovis Community College towards higher persistence rates (from 34 percent to 84 percent) and created a culture of collaboration. In 2013, Clovis Community College was named one of the Best Places to Work by the Albuquerque Journal. Since 2011, CCC has also created new programs of study, including a Physical Therapist Assistant program. Rowley’s other areas of expertise include leading various units of academics, student services, finance and informational technology to create new ways for students to finance their education.
Rowley has served on the New Mexico State Workforce development Board as well as the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board. She has also served as a member of the NM Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee and the NM Higher Education Governance Committee where she co-chaired the Legislative Subcommittee.
Rowley received her Ph.D. in English from the University of New Mexico in 1996 and a master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia in 1988. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and Latin with a minor in Political Science from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986. Rowley is also an avid runner, having finished 25 marathons, including eight Boston Marathons.
The Governing Board launched a search for an interim president after President Randy W. Grissom, the college’s eighth president announced his retirement in August 2017. Following a search for the interim president, the Board hired Cecilia Cervantes, Ph.D., that October. The Governing Board initiated the process for the presidential search soon thereafter through an RFP for a search firm and approval of the membership on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. Last September, the Governing Board and the committee invited the SFCC community to participate in four listening sessions, as well as through an online survey. Academic Search, the firm selected by the Board, led the sessions to gain input from the community. Cervantes will continue to work at the college through June.
Siegle added, “We also want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Cecilia Cervantes, interim president, who has worked diligently to keep the college moving forward on a high-level during the search process. We’re pleased that she will continue working with us through the end of June. She’s been responsive to community and student needs and has accomplished much during the time she’s served as the interim president.”
For more than three decades, Santa Fe Community College has served as the gateway to success for individuals and the community. SFCC provides affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. The college serves more than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult education programs. For further information, visit the website or call 505-428-1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.