Manuel Baca’s professional experience includes holding faculty and administrative (executive level) positions within the California State University and California Community Colleges systems. Baca is past president of the governing board of the Mt. San Antonio Community College District and has, in addition, served on several statewide commissions and committees. He is a member of the Advisory Committee for Wheelhouse, the Center for Community College Leadership and Research at the University of California, Davis. Baca served on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors from 2009 to 2015; this included two terms as president from 2013 to 2015. He is currently professor emeritus of political science at Rio Hondo College, where he previously served on the Academic Senate Executive Committee. He is also a lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles’ Charter College of Education (EdD Education Leadership).
In 2005, Baca was a member of the California Community Colleges System Strategic Plan Steering Committee where he and other state leaders developed the Community College System Strategic Plan for California (revised in 2014). In 2011, Baca was a member of the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force that made 22 specific policy recommendations to improve educational achievement within the California Community Colleges. Those recommendations later became the foundation of the landmark Student Success Act of 2012. Baca holds a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California. His graduate and undergraduate degrees were earned at California State University, Fullerton, where he was honored as one of 50 successful Latino alumni during the university’s 50th anniversary in 2007. Baca also has an associate’s degree from Rio Hondo College where, in recognition of his service and contributions, he was honored as a Fellow of the College.
Baca’s military service with the United States Marine Corps includes having served a tour of duty in Vietnam and earned an honorable discharge as a non-commissioned officer. Long active in veterans’ affairs, he is co-founder of the California Community Colleges Veterans Annual Summit. Within the San Gabriel Valley and the greater Los Angeles area, Baca serves or has previously served as a member of numerous community-based and civic organizations, including, among others, the Boy & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles and Bell Gardens, the Kiwanis of Walnut Valley, Chinese-American Museum (charter member), and Rio Hondo Symphony Association (executive board).