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Santa Fe Community College selects Rowley as new president

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Rebecca “Becky” Rowley, president of Clovis Community College, was selected as the new president at Santa Fe Community College by the Governing Board in a unanimous vote on Wednesday.


Rebecca Rowley

Rowley, who has served as president of Clovis Community College since 2011, was picked over three other finalists.

Linda Siegle, president of the Governing Board, said the fact that Rowley is a New Mexican and has previous experience as president at a community college helped set her apart.

“One thing we really found positive about her was her very laser-focused perspective on students and student success, and making sure everyone at the college, regardless of their job, is helping achieve student success,” she said.

Rowley, who was born in Santa Fe, but moved to Clovis as a young child, said she’s quite familiar with SFCC.

“It’s a great college, it has great programs, and I know a fair amount of people who work there,” she said. She said she felt welcomed by everyone when she came to visit and felt “great energy” on campus. “The college is moving in the right direction, but I think there are things we can do to strengthen relationships on campus and getting everyone on the same page to move forward to serving students.”

Rowley said she’s aware that faculty formed a union a couple of years ago and are trying to negotiate a contract.

“I have experience working with faculty members and was a faculty member for a long time,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with them.”

Former SFCC President Randy Grissom retired in August 2017. Cecilia Cervantes, who did not apply for the job, has been serving as interim president since then. Rowley will formally take over the position on July 1.

According to her bio posted on the SFCC website, Rowley, 54, taught English at CCC for seven years before moving to administration, becoming executive vice-president of academics and student services.

Rowley has served as the chair of New Mexico Independent Community Colleges, as well as on the New Mexico State Workforce Development Board and the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board. She was also a member of the New Mexico Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee and the New Mexico Higher Education Governance Committee.

Rowley is a graduate of Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., majoring in English and Latin, with a minor in political science. She went on to earn a master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia and later obtained a Ph.D. in English from the University of New Mexico.

Rowley is an avid runner who has completed 24 marathons, including eight Boston Marathons.