Cal State LA Executive Vice President Jose A. Gomez has been appointed interim superintendent-president of Pasadena City College following a unanimous vote of the PCC Board of Trustees Wednesday.
Gomez, who serves as executive vice president, chief operating officer and provost at Cal State LA, is set to begin in the interim post in late July, pending approval of his contract, and will serve in the role during Pasadena City College’s search for a permanent superintendent-president.
“I am humbled and excited to serve as interim superintendent-president of Pasadena City College, one of our state and nation’s premier community colleges,” said Gomez, who resides in Pasadena. “PCC is a vital resource for the students and communities in our region, and I look forward to helping the college reach new heights of excellence.”
The Pasadena City College Board of Trustees approved Gomez’s appointment during its June 21 meeting.
“Dr. Gomez embodies the excellence and opportunities of community colleges, where he began his education journey as a community college student,” said Sandra Chen Lau, president of the PCC Board of Trustees. “His breadth and depth of experience in higher education and in public policy provide the knowledge to lead PCC in this time of transition.”
“His impeccable academic credentials and track record as an innovative, accomplished educator and administrator will serve the college well,” Chen Lau added. “As a Pasadena resident and a San Gabriel Valley native, he is a member of our community.”
Throughout his career, Gomez has been an advocate for greater access to higher education. In his 13 years at Cal State LA, he has led major initiatives to expand opportunities for students, including Cal State LA’s downtown campus; Cal State LA’s Prison B.A. Graduation Initiative, California’s first bachelor’s degree program taught in state prison; and Cal State LA BioSpace, a regional bioscience collaboration that includes an incubator to provide laboratories, equipment and support for students and emerging entrepreneurs. At the university, he has guided philanthropic, facilities and research initiatives that have raised more than $50 million in external funding for Cal State LA.
Under Gomez’s leadership as provost, Cal State LA has strengthened its enrollment and recruitment efforts, and graduation rates have climbed. The university is number one in the CSU and the country in the overperformance of expected graduation rates among four-year universities, according to U.S. News and World Report. Cal State LA was named a Champion of Higher Education for Excellence in Transfer by the Campaign for College Opportunity for its exemplary efforts in enrolling and supporting transfer students.
As provost, Gomez oversaw the hiring of the largest group of tenure-track faculty in the history of Cal State LA in 2022-2023.
Gomez developed and negotiated the public-private partnership between the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), the newest Major League Soccer team in Los Angeles, and Cal State LA, to renovate Cal State LA’s stadium field and construct a new state-of-the-art professional soccer training and operations facility on campus. He also helped develop Achieve LA, a collaboration with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, to create pathways to higher education for youth in underserved communities.
“On behalf of the Cal State LA community, I want to congratulate Jose on his appointment as interim president of PCC,” Cal State LA President William A. Covino said. “He is an outstanding leader and staunch advocate for access in higher education, and we thank him for his many years of service to the university and wish him well in this next exciting chapter.”
Before joining Cal State LA in 2009, Gomez served as a higher education adviser to the president pro tempore of the California Senate and as executive director of the California Educational Facilities Authority, the state’s higher education facilities financing agency. He also held senior positions in the California Department of Justice and the State Treasurer’s Office.
Gomez is an award-winning teacher who has taught courses at Cal State LA, USC, Chaffey College, and Mt. SAC. He received the Educator of Distinction Award at Mt. SAC.
He serves on the WASC Senior College and University Commission, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation Board of Governors and Executive Committee, the Board of Directors of the Western Justice Center Foundation (immediate past president), the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles (co-chair of the Social Impact Council), and previously served on the Board of Directors for The Broad Center and the Advisory Board of Teach for America Los Angeles.
Gomez was raised in the San Gabriel Valley. A first-generation college student, he attended Mt. San Antonio College and Citrus College before transferring through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) to Cal Poly Pomona, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Gomez, who was a CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program Scholar, went on to earn master’s degrees in political science and public administration and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Southern California.
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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.