College President Named
Jessica Robinson has been selected as Cuyamaca College’s next president, following a nationwide search.
A Spring Valley resident who graduated from Mount Miguel High School and then Cuyamaca College, Robinson will be the first alumna to ever serve in the college’s top leadership role. She was most recently the college’s interim president and vice president of student services. The first-generation Latina college graduate has dedicated her career to ensuring that all students have access to college and can succeed.
“Jessica is a passionate, equity-minded leader with more than 20 years of experience in higher education,” said Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Chancellor Lynn Neault. “She has demonstrated a deep commitment to social justice, student success, and equitable access not only at Cuyamaca College but in her former leadership roles at San Diego State University.”
Robinson, who was selected by Neault, is expected to begin her position as permanent president on July 3.
Neault said Robinson has brought many strengths while serving as interim president, including a collaborative leadership style, and extensive experience in strategic and facilities planning, fiscal planning, and developing student support services.
Robinson credits Cuyamaca College with making a profound impact on her life as a student. Those experiences placed her on a path to her career in higher education.
“Like many first-generation students, I didn’t know what to expect from college; I started nervous and unsure,” she said. “What I learned as a student at Cuyamaca is that I belonged here. In my role as president, I intend to make space so that every one of our students know they belong here too. I am beyond proud to serve Cuyamaca students and employees as president. This is truly a dream come true.”
After attending Cuyamaca, Robinson went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work and a doctorate in educational leadership from SDSU.
Before returning to Cuyamaca in 2018, Robinson served as assistant dean for student
affairs and interim associate dean for academic affairs at SDSU’s College of Health
and Human Services. She has also taught on leadership, social work and community organizing
at SDSU and the University of San Diego. Robinson completed the prestigious Aspen
Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship and the Community College League of California’s Aspiring CEO Program.
As president of Cuyamaca College, Robinson will provide administrative oversight for the development and management of the campus’ nearly $61 million budget. She will continue to focus on increasing educational equity by ensuring that all students, regardless of background, take transferable courses in English, math, and ESL. As president, Robinson will provide leadership to build back enrollment lost during the pandemic, expand Career Education programs including championing a community college bachelor’s degree in Water Studies Technology for the college, as well as lead the implementation of a new strategic and facilities master plan.