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New President Named For Santa Fe Community College

SANTA FE, N.M. — Santa Fe Community College’s board this morning announced its choice for a new college president – Ana Margarita “Cha” Guzman, who has been serving as president of Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas. She will replace outgoing SFCC president Sheila Ortego.

What follows is SFCC’s news release on the new president:


SANTA FE, NM – The Santa Fe Community College Governing Board has named Dr. Ana Margarita “Cha” Guzmán of San Antonio, Texas, as the institution’s seventh president. Dr. Guzmán will officially begin her duties Tuesday, September 4.


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The SFCC Governing Board announced the appointment of Guzmán today at a regular monthly meeting. Chair Andrea Bermúdez and SFCC Governing Board members signed Guzmán’s contract with faculty and staff witnessing the action from the audience.


“We are very excited to bring Dr. Guzmán to Santa Fe,” said Bermúdez. “She is a nationally known leader in education with a track record as an innovator and collaborator. We are confident Dr. Guzmán will provide strong leadership and will advanceSFCC to new levels of achievement.”


The appointment of Guzmán follows a six-month search process in which an 18-member committee, headed by Governing Board members Carole Brito and Linda Siegle, narrowed the applicant pool to three finalists. Open forums and a day-long campus interview process helped the Board make its decision.


Brito noted, “The search process was very gratifying in that we were able to hear input from a wide range of stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff along with members of our Foundation and the broader community. Our search advisory committee did a great job of matching candidates with the needs identified by the stakeholders, and with this valuable feedback I feel we found the ideal leader for SFCC.”


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Search Co-Chair Siegle added that Guzmán is a good fit for the 29-year-old community college. “We have found a leader who will build on the legacy of Dr. Sheila Ortego. Dr. Guzmán is expert in increasing student performance and in furthering the community college mission to serve employer needs. She is well suited for where we are and uniquely qualified to lead the college where we need to go.”


Guzmán has been president of Palo Alto College in San Antonio for the past 12 years. Her tenure there has been noteworthy, with increased retention and graduation rates as well as expanded workforce programs and funding support. In 2008, the college won the “Best in Texas” award in the category of “Creative Approach to Workforce Development Strategies.”


“I am deeply honored to be chosen as President of Santa Fe Community College, and I want to thank the Board for its thoughtful and thorough selection process,” Guzmán said.


“After seeing the facilities, it is clear that this community treasures their community college. I look forward to devoting all of my energy and passion to ensure its continued success. It is a privilege to follow Dr. Sheila Ortego, and I join with theBoard, campus and community in thanking her for her outstanding service.”


A leading voice for Hispanics in education, Guzmán currently serves on the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU). The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Guzmán in June 2011 to a four-year term on the National Security Education Board (NSEB). The 13-member panel develops criteria for scholarships and grants for students who express an interest in national security issues or pursuing a career in a national security position. They recommend to the Secretary of Defense which countries and academic disciplines need to be emphasized, including foreign languages and cultures that need to be taught in United States educational institutions.


Dr. Guzmán recently served on the Board of Trustees of the College Board, a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Among the College Board’s best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT and the Advanced Placement Program.


In 2010, NBC News invited Guzmán to participate in the Education Nation Summit in New York, a ground-breaking conversation about the state of education in America. She was honored with the Ford Salute to Education in 2005 and was named to the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006.


Dr. Guzmán served as a Senior Adviser to Education Secretary Richard Riley during the last year of the Clinton administration. While at the Education Department, Dr. Guzmán identified advances in promoting access to education for the Hispanic community, and worked with senior officers and program directors to ensure that all results impacting the Hispanic community were recognized. She was influential in creating a new vision for the role of technical education inmaintaining the competitive viability of this country’s workforce, and in identifying the opportunities to make adult education more responsive to the Hispanic community.


Dr. Guzmán also served as the chair of President Clinton’s White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans from 1993 to 2000 and was responsible for the development of Our Nation on the Fault Line: Hispanic American Education.


After graduating with a B.S. in Education from Stout State University in Wisconsin, Dr. Guzmán earned anM.A. in Sociology from Texas Southern University in Houston and an Ed.D. inEducation from the University of Houston.


For more than 29 years, Santa Fe Community College has been the gateway to success for individuals and the community by providing affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. The college servesmore than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult basiceducation programs. For further information, visit or call (505)428-1000. Follow us: SFCC on Facebook<>, SFCC on Twitter<>.