Manuel Baca has held various faculty and executive-level administrative roles within the California State University and California Community Colleges systems, including past president of the Mt. San Antonio Community College District’s governing board. He has served on numerous statewide commissions and committees, including the Advisory Committee for Wheelhouse at UC Davis. Baca was a member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors from 2009 to 2015, including two terms as president. He is a professor emeritus of political science at Rio Hondo College and a lecturer at California State University, Los Angeles’ Charter College of Education.
Baca played a pivotal role in developing the Community College System Strategic Plan for California and was a member of the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force. The task force’s policy recommendations formed the foundation of the Student Success Act of 2012. Baca earned his doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, and holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from California State University, Fullerton. He also has an associate’s degree from Rio Hondo College, where he was honored as a Fellow of the College.
Baca served in the United States Marine Corps, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, and received an honorable discharge as a non-commissioned officer. He is a co-founder of the California Community Colleges Veterans Annual Summit and has been involved in numerous community-based and civic organizations in the San Gabriel Valley and greater Los Angeles area, such as the Boy & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles and Bell Gardens, the Kiwanis of Walnut Valley, Chinese-American Museum, and Rio Hondo Symphony Association.