Dr. R. Michael Flores, a 1987 Holmes High School graduate, was named Palo Alto College's sixth president by the Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees Tuesday night.
Flores, 42, was selected from among 28 applicants in a nationwide search.
"Dr. Flores has proven his leadership capabilities and commitment to student success, the primary assets we were seeking," said Alamo Colleges Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie. "He also knows San Antonio well and is committed to expanding college access to our southside communities."
Flores is the first PAC president to come from within the ranks of Palo Alto College. He replaces Dr. Ana M. "Cha" Guzmán, who retired on Aug. 31 and became President of Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico.
"I am honored by the opportunity to serve as Palo Alto College President," Flores said. "I'm looking forward to engaging students, faculty and staff in working together to provide educational access and opportunity to south San Antonio, Bexar County and surrounding communities."
Flores has held all three Vice President positions since joining the college in 1999. He most recently served as Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs since June 1, overseeing academic and workforce programs and over 100 faculty. Previously, he was Vice President of Student Affairs for three years, leading a division of 85 employees in departments that oversee admissions, advising, career and job placement, child care, financial aid, federal programs, pre-college programs, student life, student recruitment, and veterans affairs.
The Texas native began his career at PAC in February 1999 as an employee in the Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Development. He was named Director and was responsible for establishing an institutional effectiveness process, which guided the College to re-accreditation in 2002.
After three years in that position, he was promoted to Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Community Development in November 2001, where he served for six years supporting the planning and budgeting process, distance education, partnerships, dual credit, and the Gateway to College program. During that time, he also directed the $1.8 million Title V grant, which established the District's first one-stop Welcome Center for incoming students and created an office that centralized institutional effectiveness functions.
In December 2007, Flores was named the first Vice President of College Services, which is the chief administrative officer of the College. He was responsible for the $26 million budget, grant development,information technology, the early college high school programs, and was the liaison for the Texas A&M System Center that used PAC's academic and student services during its infancy.
The new President earned his Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where his dissertation centered on service learning. He also holds an M.A. in political science from Illinois State University and a B.A. in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
This past summer, he participated in the Harvard University Institute for Education Management.
Flores was one of 39 individuals selected to serve as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow during the 2005-2006 academic year, spending the Spring 2006 term at the City University of New York LaGuardia Community College in Queens.
Flores has presented at numerous conferences, taught political science at the college level, co-authored multi-million-dollar grants, and led Achieving the Dream and Foundations of Excellence initiatives.
Flores is married to Martha Martinez-Flores, and they are parents of a daughter, Mara Zoe. They live in South San Antonio.
Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges, is a fully accredited community college located on the Southside of San Antonio with nearly 9,000 students. It awards associate degrees and short-term certificates and offers non-credit continuing education classes. The campus is located at 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. at I-410 South and Texas Hwy. 16 or online at alamo.edu/pac.
Press release submitted by Palo Alto College.