Kern CCD Board of Trustees Names Dr. Steven Bloomberg as New Chancellor of the Kern Community College District

By Kern CCD | 12/08/23
Kern CCD Building

Bakersfield, CA—The Kern Community College District (Kern CCD) Board of Trustees announces the selection of Dr. Steven Bloomberg to serve as Kern CCD’s next Chancellor. The announcement comes after a rigorous nationwide search for the next chancellor to lead the three-college district.

The Kern Community College District is one of the largest community college districts in the nation in terms of area, serving five counties, spanning across over 24,800 square miles, includes three colleges, Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College, and services a student population of over 50,000 students.

Kern CCD is renowned as one of the premier community college districts in the state and nationally. Bakersfield College, one of the nation’s oldest continually operating community colleges was recently ranked by Hispanic Outlook Magazine as 11th on its list of the top 100 colleges and universities in the United States for Latin students, and is among the top institutions in the country in awarding the largest number of Associate’s Degrees to Hispanic/Latino/Latina students.

Cerro Coso Community College was ranked by on its list of Best Community Colleges in California in 2023, which identifies top schools in the state based on tuition costs, number of credits required to graduate, and delivery of online coursework, and the Campaign for College Opportunity recognized Porterville College for excellence in Transfer-Level Math enrollment during the 2022 Excellence in Placement Awards.

Kern CCD is proud of its colleges and its top rankings for student outcomes and equity-based programs including its robust early college programs which has become a model for the country.  In 2023, Kern CCD received the American Association of Community Colleges 2023 Charles Kennedy Equity Award for its accomplishments in rapidly and effectively moving the dial on college attendance and completion rates through its dual enrollment programs.

Dr. Steven Bloomberg has expertise in areas that will help Kern CCD continue to be preeminent and lead the work that has positioned the District and its colleges as leaders in providing quality education in California.

Dr. Bloomberg has spent the last five years leading Southeast Arkansas College.  He has led Southeast Arkansas College through many high-profile initiatives including increasing enrollment through strategic processes focused on key demographics including high school students, workforce training, incarcerated students, and student athletes.  He has led innovative career pathway development, established new degrees focused on industry needs, and opened the first phase of housing on the Southeast Arkansas College campus. 

Dr. Bloomberg’s background aligns with the Kern Community College District’s focus on retaining students, increasing enrollments, developing the workforce of the future and the implementation of key strategies and partnerships that are transforming our region.  His credentials and leadership in economic and workforce development make him the ideal candidate to lead the Kern Community College District.

This selection brings Dr. Bloomberg back to the Kern Community College District where he started his decades-long career in higher education.  In 1994, Dr. Bloomberg served as the Workforce Development Director for Cerro Coso Community College.

Dr. Bloomberg said in his acceptance comments, "I am honored to build upon the great legacy of the Kern Community College District and look forward to working with faculty, staff, administration at the colleges and the district office to plan for the future. I am grateful to the Kern CCD Board of Trustees for this opportunity and am ready to go to work."

“The Kern Community College District Board has undergone a thorough process to select its next Chancellor,” said Romeo Agbalog, President of the Kern CCD Board of Trustees. We are pleased to have selected a leader who understands the need to integrate a robust economic and workforce development strategy to an already successful early college, transfer, and retention program.  I am confident in our selection and look forward to continuing to lead our students to success, Agbalog said.”

The Kern Community College District followed a rigorous timeline and procedures that engaged a screening committee of community representatives, classified professionals, faculty, and managers from across its three colleges and district office. Representatives from Bakersfield College, Porterville College, and Cerro Coso Community College were part of the screening process which also included open forums for the final candidates.

Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Board of Trustees member and Chair of the selection committee was proud to have led a group of dynamic and engaged committee members to ensure the next leader of the district was reflective of the district values and vision.  “I am confident in the process to select our next chancellor and am pleased with our final selection.  I welcome Dr. Bloomberg and look forward to continuing our work to ensure all students are afforded an opportunity to pursue the education of their choice.”

Dr. Bloomberg becomes the seventh chancellor of the Kern Community College District succeeding Dr. Sonya Christian who was appointed the State Chancellor of the California Community College System in April 2023.