Fourth SFCC presidential candidate to participate in public forum

March 12, 2019

Rey Rivera, vice president of learning at Estrella Mountain Community College in Avondale, Ariz., will be the fourth and final candidate to participate in a public forum to help determine Santa Fe Community College’s next president.

Rivera will speak Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Jemez Rooms at the community college.

At Estrella Mountain and previously in a similar role at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Rivera has experience working with Hispanic student populations and building curricula around nearby industry.

In a recent interview, Rivera said he sees the opening at Santa Fe Community College as an opportunity to continue similar work.

“There’s high community engagement and strong community partnerships. If you look at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, those provide some really rare opportunities,” Rivera said. “After looking at some of the numbers and data and the student population, Santa Fe Community College really is similar to schools I have worked at in the past.”

As a vice president of learning at Estrella Mountain, Rivera, 48, oversees everything from scheduling classes and hiring faculty to designing new education and workforce development initiatives. He said one of his biggest accomplishments is a workforce development program that was formed from a partnership between the community college, local government, a K-12 school district and a nuclear generating station.

If hired, Rivera would be making the jump to an institution he thinks is trending in the right direction.

“SFCC has a high fall-to-spring retention rate and graduation rate,” Rivera said. “Those two stats show a strong commitment by faculty and staff. I don’t normally look at job openings, but I didn’t think I could pass this one up.”

Rivera, one of four candidates for the SFCC job, graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He has a master’s in mathematics from Purdue University and a doctorate in higher and post-secondary education from Arizona State University.

The community college’s governing board has until March 27 to announce a new president.