Kern CCD Board of Trustees Announces Dr. Jerry Fliger Eleventh President of Bakersfield College

By Kern CCD | 12/26/23
Kern CCD Building

Bakersfield, CA-–After a national search, and open campus and community forums, the Board of Trustees of the Kern Community College District (Kern CCD) announces the selection of Dr. Jerry Fliger as the eleventh President of Bakersfield College.

Jerry FligerBakersfield College is the largest of the Kern Community College District’s three colleges which include Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College.  Established in 1913, Bakersfield College is one of the nation's oldest continually-operating community colleges. Bakersfield College is known nationally as a leader in dual enrollment and as a leader in equity centered student support.  The college serves over 33,000 students annually on the 153-acre main campus in northeast Bakersfield.

Bakersfield College also serves students at the Delano Campus 35 miles north of Bakersfield, the Weill Institute in downtown Bakersfield, and BC SouthWest in southwest Bakersfield. In addition, a campus is set to open in Arvin in 2024.  Classes are also offered at several alternative locations, including Shafter Learning Center 18 miles northwest of Bakersfield, Arvin/Lamont, McFarland, Olive Drive Training Facility in northwest Bakersfield, Wasco and other community locations to ensure opportunities are available to students in throughout rural and hard to serve areas.  

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees I want to congratulate Dr. Jerry Fliger on his selection as the eleventh President of Bakersfield College,” said John Corkins, President, Kern CCD Board of Trustees. “Dr. Fliger’s extensive experience in instruction, academic affairs and workforce development is the exact leadership we need to advance student success and ensure we are developing the future workforce of Kern County as innovation and new opportunities are brought to the area,” Corkins said.

Since 2019, Dr. Fliger has served as the Vice President for Instruction at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas where he successfully attained an institutional level change to a bachelor's granting institution, he initiated several new programs in academic transfer and workforce and created an Academic Master Plan focused on access for students.  In addition, Dr. Fliger’s experience spans key roles in instructional leadership, construction of academic buildings, and industry relations including development of customized workforce training for aerospace.

“Bakersfield College is at an exciting time in its journey, and I am looking forward to becoming part of this wonderful institution and joining the Bakersfield community,” said Dr. Fliger.  “Working in partnership with the campus community, I look forward to the many possibilities that await.  The Kern Community College District has much to offer and by working in conjunction with the District and our sister colleges, BC will continue striving to realize its mission.”

Dr. Fliger becomes the eleventh president of Bakersfield College succeeding two interim presidents who effectively managed the transition created by then President Sonya Christian’s move to chancellor of the Kern Community College District.  “I very much appreciate the role both Dr. Zav Dadabhoy and Steve Watkin have played in leading our largest college as we settled into identifying our next leaders.  It is an exciting time for the Kern Community College District as we look to continue our legacy of excellence,” said Interim Chancellor Tom Burke.

Incoming Kern CCD Chancellor Dr. Steven Bloomberg has been involved in the selection process and shared, “It was important as one of my first responsibilities to have the opportunity to interview and select the new President of Bakersfield College, the candidates were impressive.  Dr. Fliger stood out, his experience and knowledge will help us continue to impart the mission of the District.  I look forward to working together in our respective roles.”

Dr. Fliger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interpersonal and Public Communication from Purdue University, a Master’s Degree in Speech Communication from Miami University, and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Bowling Green State University.  He will begin his new role at Bakersfield College on March 11, 2024.