August 9, 2023, Santa Rosa, CA—Santa Rosa Junior College is proud to announce that the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has honored president emeritus Dr. Frank Chong with the 2023 Western Region ACCT Chief Executive Officer Award. The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,100 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond.
“We are exceedingly proud that Dr. Chong has been recognized with this honor,” said Dorothy Battenfeld, president of the District’s Board of Trustees.
“ACCT's Regional Awards recognize the tremendous contributions made by trustees, equity programs, chief executive officers, faculty members, and professional board staff of the nation’s community colleges,” said ACCT President and CEO Jee Hang Lee. “ACCT’s member colleges and the individuals who serve them work tirelessly, often with little recognition. We are glad to be able to shine a spotlight on those who go above and beyond the call of duty.”
ACCT announced the regional awardees via Twitter/X @CCTrustees, one member-region per day, during the week of July 31. Regional awardees will now contend for national-level recognition, with one winner in each category to be announced on Wednesday, October 11 during the Annual ACCT Awards Gala in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information about the ACCT Awards and the 54th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress, visit www.acct.org.
Dr. Chong led Santa Rosa Junior College in receiving the designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) from the US Department of Education, making it eligible to receive nearly $10 million in grant awards that have led to the implementation of innovative practices. Grant initiatives continue to serve thousands of students each year.
Dr. Chong also oversaw the development of educational programming and comprehensive support services for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated student populations, in formal partnership with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, serving thousands of students and families throughout Sonoma County.
Dr. Chong supported the formation of an Ethnic Studies Department, offering robust coursework in African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, and Native American Studies, and hired five full-time, tenure track faculty members for the department. He supported the creation of campus intercultural centers that provide additional student support and programming. He recently received the Colibri Award from the Latinx Faculty and Staff Association to honor his work.
With Dr. Chong’s advocacy and support, Sonoma County passed Measure O in November 2020, a one-quarter cent sales tax to provide essential funding for mental health and homeless services. This funding has enabled SRJC to hire additional on-campus resources for students, including therapists, social workers, prevention specialists and more, with a focus on marginalized populations. In 2022, Dr. Chong launched a partnership with the JED Foundation, a national nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, giving them skills and support they need to thrive today and tomorrow.
Finally, through the support of a generous gift from a community member, Dr. Chong established the SRJC Teaching Fellows Program, through which faculty members mentor students in teaching assistant roles across various academic disciplines, allowing students to explore and gain experience in possible careers in education.
Dr. Chong's career has been marked by numerous accolades, including the Leadership Education for Asian Pacific Americans Award, the NAACP Santa Clara County Chapter Diversity Award, the Harvard Club of San Francisco Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Association of California Community College Administrators' (ACCCA) most prestigious honor - the 2023 Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award.