October 11, 2022, Santa Rosa, CA – Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) President Dr. Frank Chong has announced his intent to retire in summer 2023. Chong has served as the college’s president since January 2012.
Chong says of his time at SRJC, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the fifth president at SRJC. Much has been accomplished during my years as president, and I am confident that the college will continue progressing as it has for the past 100 years. I will miss the SRJC community, but I look forward to finding new ways to support the college.”
During his time at SRJC, Chong led the college through many achievements, including:
- Successful passage of Measure H, the $410 million bond (the largest bond passed by voters in Sonoma County history) to support new and updated technology and facilities and the subsequent new construction and renovations including the Lindley Center for STEM Education, Kunde Hall, Burbank Auditorium updates, sustainability projects, and new athletic facilities.
- Fundraising efforts totaling more than $77 million during his tenure.
- Building of a new student housing project, which will open in August 2023, providing 352 affordable beds for students.
- Purchase of the SRJC Southwest Center, serving Sonoma County’s Roseland community.
- Two successful accreditations.
- Multiple diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism and accessibility (DEIAA) initiatives, resulting in a new Ethnic Studies department, more inclusive hiring practices, and the development of the SRJC Intercultural Center and associated student success centers.
- Response and recovery from multiple wildfires that devastated the community.
- Successful passage of Measure O, aimed at supporting mental health in Sonoma County and SRJC.
- The development of two district wide strategic plans (one in progress).
- Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the college.
- Sustainability efforts that save $1.5 million in utility costs annually and reduce 7,575 metric tons of CO2e annually.
- Successful redistricting and working together with the Board of Trustees to provide vision and leadership.
“I want to congratulate Dr. Chong on his retirement and thank him for his dedication to SRJC. He has been an active, effective, and well-respected leader, not just in the SRJC community but at the local, state, and national level,” said Sonoma County Junior College District Board President Dorothy Battenfeld. “Working collaboratively with the Board of Trustees, Dr. Chong has successfully led the college through many challenges over the last ten years. With input from the SRJC community, the Board will be engaging in a hiring process to seek a highly qualified and diverse group of candidates. The Board is committed to selecting a new president who will continue SRJC’s tradition of excellence and service to our community.”
Before joining SRJC, Chong served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges at the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Among his key responsibilities at the Department of Education were shaping President Barack Obama’s community college agenda, providing leadership in the development of the trade adjustment assistance act, and developing policies related to the President’s college completion goal. Chong also helped convene four regional community college summits.
From 2006 to 2009, he was President of Laney College in Oakland, and served as President of Mission College in Santa Clara from 2003 to 2006. Chong was Dean of Student Affairs at San Francisco City College from 1993 to 2003.
He served as Special Assistant to Willie Brown, Speaker of the California Assembly, from 1987 to 1991, and in that position created legislation in higher education, mental health, small and minority business affairs and local government. Chong also developed a consortium of more than 50 San Francisco youth organizations to share resources.
Chong was a member of the San Francisco Children and Families Commission and San Francisco Human Rights Commission, and was elected to the San Francisco Board of Education in 1998.
He is an experienced administrator of non-profit organizations, and worked in Oakland as Director of Special Services for the Asian Community Mental Health Services and Executive Director of Asian Manpower Services.
Chong has participated on numerous higher education boards, including the Chief Executive Officers Board of the California Community Colleges, the American Council on Education Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity, and The Institute for College Affordability and Success (TICAS).
He is a former president and founding member of the national advocacy organization Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. He also serves on the Pepperwood Preserve Board of Directors.
Chong has a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, 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 (Ed.D) in educational administration leadership and technology from Dowling College in Oakdale, New York.
Chong has received numerous honors including the Leadership Education for Asian Pacific Americans Award, NAACP Santa Clara County Chapter Diversity Award and Harvard Club of San Francisco Distinguished Alumni Award.