San Jose City College names a new president

Education leaders announced Monday the hiring of a new president for San José City College following a nationwide search.

Rowena M. Tomaneng has been selected to lead the community college, according to district officials. A first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, Tomaneng joins the South Bay college after serving as president of Berkeley City College since 2016. She’s worked as an educator in the California Community College system for nearly 25 years.

“We are very pleased to have a candidate of Dr. Tomaneng’s caliber to serve as the next president of San José City College,” said Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland, chancellor of San José-Evergreen Community College District. “She brings a depth and breadth of experience that will help us continue our positive trajectory at SJCC.”

Tomaneng replaces acting president Roland Montemayor. Breland also served as president at SJCC beginning in 2013 prior to his appointment as chancellor.

According to district leaders, Tomaneng’s work focuses on social justice, student equity and community engagement. She helped develop the Berkeley Promise, lead an expansion of the college’s Undocumented Community Resource Center and spearheaded the creation of student services and curriculum for African American, Latinx and Asian American/Pacific Islander students who are first-generation and low-income college students.

Rowena M. Tomaneng is pictured in this file photo. Photo courtesy of Berkeley City College.

“I’m very excited to be joining San José City College,” Tomaneng said. “SJCC is well-known throughout the state as one of the strongest and most innovative community colleges in California. I look forward to working closely with my new colleagues among the administration, faculty and classified professionals to continue to move the institution forward and find new and innovative ways to serve our students and our community.”

Statewide and nationally, Tomaneng serves on the boards of the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges, Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education and the National Asian Pacific Islander Council. Prior to working in Berkeley, Tomaneng held multiple positions at De Anza College, including associate vice president of instruction, dean of language arts, director of the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement and tenured faculty member.

Tomaneng’s hiring comes as the college prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021. San José City College was the first community college in Santa Clara County, established in 1921.

“Now is an opportune time to set a course for the next 100 years and Dr. Tomaneng has the skills and experience to do so in collaboration with the dedicated team of professionals at the college already,” Breland added.

Pending board approval, Tomaneng is expected to officially join the college on Jan. 6, 2020.

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