The Kern Community College District in California has appointed Steven Watkin as interim president for Bakersfield College. He will be the first African American to lead the college.
Bakersfield College enrolls nearly 25,000 students, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s most recent statistics. African Americans are just 4 percent of the student body.
“My 33-year career has been student-centered, and it has been fruitful to see the tremendous growth in the programs I’ve led working with faculty, students, staff, and community partners,” Watkin said. “I am confident that as we continue this work together, Bakersfield College will continue to thrive and live up to the standards set by those who came before me.”
Watkin was hired by Bakersfield College nine years ago to build an outreach program in partnership with local area high schools. Most recently, he has served as associate vice chancellor of enrollment management at the Kern Community College District. In addition, Watkin has been pastor of the Church of God in Christ in Arvin, California, for the past 11 years.
Watkin earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree from Fresno Pacific University.