The Board of Trustees of the Peralta Community College District, at its regular board meeting last night, announced the appointment of José M. Ortiz, Ed.D., as their new chancellor to lead Berkeley City College, College of Alameda and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland. The Peralta district enrolls 30,000 students a semester.

Ortiz, the current superintendent/president of Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, Calif., is a former Laney College vice president. He will take the reins from the current Chancellor, Wise E. Allen, Ph.D., on July 2, 2012.

“It has been a bittersweet decision to leave Allan Hancock College, a college and community I’ve embraced and have been committed to for seven years,” said Ortiz.  “However, when the Peralta district came to me, the challenge of leading a larger institution and returning to a district I am familiar with, in addition to being closer to family, was an opportunity I could not pass up,” he said.  “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together at Allan Hancock College, and leave it knowing that it is a special place with outstanding faculty and staff who are committed to students and their success.”

In his seven years at Hancock, the college passed a $180 million bond that is providing for extensive facility and technology transformations across the college district; successfully completed an accreditation self study and achieved accreditation reaffirmation; secured various prestigious grants including a National Institutes of Health grant in partnership with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; and was selected as one of the top five community colleges in California, among other achievements.

Hancock serves more than 11,500 credit students and 5,500 noncredit students each semester. The college district spans 3,000 square miles in northern Santa Barbara County, and includes college campuses or centers in the cities of Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and at Vandenberg AFB.

Prior to Allan Hancock College, Ortiz served as an educational administrator in several institutions of higher learning including Laney College in Oakland and Solano Community College in Fairfield, California; Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland; the University of Maryland, University College; and the University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon. Ortiz holds a doctorate degree in education policy, planning, and administration from the University of Maryland, College Park; a Master of Arts in teaching English as a Second Language from West Chester State University in Pennsylvania; and a bachelor of arts in English from Catholic University of Puerto Rico.

“We have had seven great years with Dr. Ortiz,” said Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees President Bernard “Bee Jay” Jones.  “He has been a tremendous leader and has done an excellent job of representing Allan Hancock College in our community.  We will miss him, and we wish him well in his new endeavor.  This is a fantastic opportunity for him.”