Presidential Search

May 4, 2022

Rockland Community College (RCC) announced that Dr. Michael A. Baston will be stepping down from his position as president of the College in July and has accepted a new position as President of Cuyahoga Community College located in Cleveland, Ohio. An interim president will be selected by the Board of Trustees for RCC and that individual will serve while a national search takes place to identify a successor.

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Updates on the College’s next steps and transition plan will be posted here.

Dr. Baston's Message to the Community

Dear RCC Family and Friends,

Five years ago, I was blessed to join a vibrant, caring community that believed in the power of the possible for students. A Community College with aspirations to have greater local, regional, and national impact by sharing innovative strategies to improve the lives of students.

Over these five years, together, we have built a College that is a highly respected national educational leader preparing students to become real-world ready.

Together, our “can do” College has weathered many storms from financial challenges, a global pandemic, the shifting economic and educational landscape, and our national quest for inclusive excellence so that all students, regardless of their zip code, have access and the opportunity to live the lives they deserve, their American dream.

I am proud of our efforts over the years including:

The establishment of the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center location in Nyack.

The implementation of the Guided Pathways Model and associated restructuring of our Schools.

The significant improvement of our enrollment and student services.

Our College’s newfound place in the national spotlight due to your voice.

The successful navigation of myriad unknowns during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The development of the Career Skills and English Skills Academies to grow footprints in the non-degree and workforce development areas with growth potential.

The securing of more than $30 million in grant, capital, and other fundraising efforts to advance student success, including back-to-back Title V Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions awards and garnered support to address deferred maintenance and infrastructure challenges after years of neglect and lack of funding.

Our Steps Beyond Statements initiative to prepare Rockland Community College to become a national leader in Inclusive Excellence.

Given all we have accomplished together it is with mixed emotions that I share that I have decided to accept the position of President of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio where I will begin a new chapter in my professional career later this summer. Please know I am deeply inspired by what we have accomplished together. I leave RCC confident that the College is well-positioned to continue building the momentum for fruitful, sustainable growth, and greater levels of individual student success.

Serving as RCC’s president, alongside an extraordinary executive team, dynamic and dedicated faculty and staff, and under the leadership and wise counsel of our committed, forward-thinking Board of Trustees has been a source of great pride and joy. Tasha and I, from the moment we joined the RCC Family, felt the love and support of the College community. We will always treasure the friends we’ve made and the joyful times we have shared in Rockland County and at RCC.

In the days and months ahead, I will work closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. I have faith that the next president will embrace our culture of collaboration and embrace the RCC philosophy of opening our doors to students from every part of our society, and providing everyone the opportunity to thrive and succeed. There is so much important work yet to be done.

Maya Angelou once remarked, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” As time passes you may forget the things I have said. You may forget what I did. But I hope that you, who have felt the love I have in my heart for our College, our community, and our students, will remember that commitment and in some way be inspired to shine your light on others as well. With a grateful heart, I can assure you I will never forget how each of you made me feel.

With love and gratitude,
Dr. Baston