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Santiago Canyon President Selected


Juan A. Vazquez, who has spent the last 27 years at the College of Alameda in Northern California, has been named president of Santiago Canyon College in Orange.

The Rancho Santiago Community College District trustees appointed him the college's third president at their board meeting Monday.

Vazquez, who is interim president of the Alameda campus near Oakland, will start Aug. 19. He will be paid $131,626 annually.

Edward Hernandez, chancellor of the Rancho Santiago district, said Vazquez is "ideally suited to the presidential role" at Santiago Canyon. "He has a collegial and flexible approach to decision-making combined with an authentic personality."

Santiago Canyon started as a satellite campus of Santa Ana College, then became an independent school in 1997 at a time of rapid development in the hills east of Orange.

Vazquez, 57, reached Tuesday at his office in Northern California, said, "I am looking forward to my work with a great group of students and staff at Santiago Canyon. And I'm looking forward to building a new college."

The son of a restaurant worker and a homemaker was reared in a housing project in New York's Spanish Harlem. A brother and a sister became college professors and another sister became a surgical nurse.

Vazquez received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from City University of New York and a master's degree as a reading specialist from Cal State Fullerton, where he was also employed at the campus Institute for Reading from 1973-74.

He moved to the College of Alameda, where he was an English teacher for two years before moving into campus administration. He later became vice president of instruction and dean for business and transportation programs.

Vazquez said he has been looking around the state for openings as a community college president, a position usually filled from outside.

Santiago Canyon has a student enrollment of about 12,785, which is expected to reach 17,000 by 2010.

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