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HCCBy: Darwin Campbell, African-American News&Issues

Dr. Cesar Maldonado took the helm as Chancellor of Houston Community College and stated his commitment to new levels of academic leadership and development.

He becomes the eighth Chancellor in Houston Community College’s 43-year history.

“What an honor and privilege it is to be named Chancellor of one of the leading community colleges in the country,”  Dr. Cesar Maldonado said. “We have some real opportunities ahead of us to create what HCC can and will be for our students our community and our region. I will work diligently to understand the issues and the culture of HCC while identifying solutions to propel our college to a new standing. This is a new day at HCC – and one that centers around the important work in the classrooms and in the broader community.” 

HCC Board of Trustees selected Dr. Maldonado after institution conducted a nationwide search for the next leader of the institution.

He brings a strong awareness of college and workforce readiness and is active in working with the state legislature on education initiatives regarding school finance and education in science, technology, engineering and math.

Some of the early issues Dr. Maldonado will face include identifying new funding sources and innovative partnerships, as well as to determine the best, most appropriate allocation of the funds generated from the bond passage so that we can build the most efficient and effective college of tomorrow.

Maldonado also successfully transitioned his private industry management expertise into public higher education administration.

Dr. Maldonado’s business experience includes strategic planning, project management, infrastructure design, industrial systems and software design. Dr. Maldonado holds Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, a Doctorate in Systems and Engineering Management from Texas Tech University, and is an alumnus of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Maldonado began his career in 1976 as a process engineer for Celanese Chemical Corporation, where he designed and implemented the company’s first digital control system used for real-time optimization of energy recovery systems. In 1980 Maldonado accepted a position as Vice President of Information Systems with Tex-Steel Corporation, where he became President and Chief Executive Officer within 10 years and grew the business to international prominence. Ultimately, he led Tex-Steel through a successful acquisition into a larger publicly held enterprise. Maldonado then joined ASSA ABLOY as Division Vice President and Chief Technical Officer and led joint venture technical groups in the development of new business lines and in the support of $500 million/year in engineered products.

He also is an accomplished engineer, civic and business leader, and higher education administrator. Prior to joining HCC, he was the fourth president in the 47-year history of Texas State Technical College (TSTC) Harlingen. A national leader in the engineering and manufacturing industry with a dedicated commitment to community service, Maldonado took over the leadership helm at TSTC in 2008 and has successfully transitioned his private industry management expertise into higher education administration. Under his leadership, TSTC has significantly improved its graduation rate, increased enrollment and maintained fiscal strength. He led the addition of seven new associate of science degrees and two new technology programs, including one in Wind Energy Technology.

In addition to his demonstrated business acumen, he led legislative efforts to create high school/college dual enrollment opportunities in Texas, and has served as a board member (twice as president) of the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District (TX) since 2003. He served as the interim Chairman of the Border Governors Conference on Science and Technology, where he worked to foster bi-national research and technology exchange with scientists across the U.S. and Mexico border. He was also appointed by the governor to serve as a Regent of the Texas State Technical College System.

Trustee Neeta Sane, HCC Board Chair said. “The Board of Trustees has worked judiciously and diligently in taking one of the most important decisions for HCC’s future. We are proud to select Dr. Maldonado as HCC’s next Chancellor and we look forward to his leadership as we navigate and address many important opportunities that will help to define the HCC of the future.”

She went on to describe him as an accomplished academician, but one with three decades in business.

“His deep understanding of academia is framed in the context of community and industry,” she said. “He is prepared for the complex issues we face and will work diligently to build teams and innovative solutions to move the College forward. We are excited with the leadership that he will bring to our College.”

Cesar and his wife of 38 years, Liz, enjoy their children, Kristin, Marcus, Laura and Jason Rocha and grandchildren, Julianne and William.