When Cabrillo College welcomes its students on Sept. 3 for the Fall semester, the students will have a chance to meet the school’s new president.
On July 15, Dr. Laurel Jones formally assumed the role as president and superintendent of the community college.
Jones, a resident of south San Jose, comes to Cabrillo from Mission College in Santa Clara, where she served three years as president.
She said that the move was a natural one for her, as she was excited about the chance to lead the college district as well as the college itself, and cited what she described as the campus’ tradition of quality and dedication.
“My experience has been in a multi-college district,” Jones said, referring to Mission College, part of the West Valley-Mission Community College District. “This was a new opportunity for me to be able to step in as president and superintendent.”
She said that when the position became available in the wake of her predecessor, Brian King, leaving to head the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, she jumped at the chance when she was contacted by recruiters.
“It came naturally,” Jones said, adding that she had worked alongside educators from Cabrillo often in the past. “I had heard wonderful things about Cabrillo — and, of course, the ocean is wonderful.”
Jones said that her plans to acclimate herself with the campus and its culture include meeting with students, faculty, staff, and the community seeking input and feedback.
“I am starting out with a listening tour,” she said. “I’m taking about six weeks to get a feel for the area and college community before we make any changes.”
As president, Jones said that she was committed to working to maintain Cabrillo’s standing with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges during the annual accreditation evaluation.
“I’m very committed to making sure that we get through our accreditation site evaluation,” she said. “I am a firm believer in staff development.”
She also said that she was looking forward to working with local high schools, as well as the college’s satellite campuses in Scotts Valley and Watsonville.
“I am, as the college pres, scheduled to be down at the Watsonville campus once a week,” Jones said. “I’m also very excited about working with our K-12 programs.”
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