Dr. Ted Martinez, Jr. served as the eighth Superintendent/President of Rio Hondo College. A Texas native, Dr. Martinez has dedicated himself to education, and been a strong role model for Latinos in academia.
In a family of seven children, he was the eldest male child. When he was 14, he and his family joined the migrant farm worker stream, but because his parents were determined that he receive an education they did not go north to the fields until school was out in June and were back for the start of school in September. His parents’ commitment to education paid off, and all of their children completed high school. Dr. Martinez earned both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Business and Economics from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, and went on to receive a doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Dr. Martinez has worked throughout his career to insure that all students have access to quality higher education. In his capacity as Superintendent/President of Rio Hondo College has been committed to maintaining fiscal stability while enabling student success, high-level learning outcomes, and the completion of the $245 million building program. His leadership provided a new platform for Rio Hondo College to leverage its resources in collaboration with community and business partners.
He started his community college career teaching occupational education classes at Western Texas College. He became a dean at El Paso Community College and held a variety of administrative positions at the seven-college Dallas County Community College District.
His community college experience includes the presidency of Richard J. Daley College in Chicago, and Associate Vice Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. Dr. Martinez also served as president of Grossmont College (east San Diego County) for seven years prior to being named Rio Hondo Community College Superintendent/President in 2007. In July 2010, he was elected president of the San Gabriel/Foothill Association of Community Colleges (SANFACC), a regional consortium of six community colleges, and was also appointed to the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Board.
Nationally, Martinez has been an effective force in building the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) Leadership Fellows Program to prepare mid management personnel as future community college leaders at the executive level. In addition to serving twice as president of NCCHC, he has served as a board member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities; a member of the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors; and as president of the National Council for Occupational Education; and he serves as co-chair of the United States Department of Agriculture HACU Leadership Group.
He is a member of the Advisory Committee, and a lecturer for the CSU Long Beach Doctoral Program. He recently presented at a White House Roundtable Discussion on Opportunities in Federal Service for Students and Recent Graduates.
In regional matters, Martinez served as President of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association and the San Gabriel/Foothill Association of Community Colleges consortium. He currently serves as a community college delegate to the Los Angeles County Workforce Investment Council Board.
Major accomplishments during his Rio Hondo College tenure, in addition to the building program that has revitalized and transformed the aging hilltop campus, and which also provides for the development of educational centers in underserved areas of the District; implementation of an integrated and effective planning process; receipt of full accreditation from the Accrediting Association for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; restoration of the Rio Hondo College Police Academy program; implementation of a sound operational structure for college management; development of new academic support programs to invigorate and increase pathways to transfer; development of a vibrant Veterans Resource Center and subsequent designation for Rio Hondo College as a “Military Friendly School”; formation of essential partnerships and pathways for students from school districts in the college’s service area; extension of college outreach programs and services into local communities; and establishing new vital linkages with area business and governmental officials.
Under Martinez’s leadership, in 2010 Rio Hondo College launched the award-winning El Monte Union Pledge partnership which provides a seamless pipeline to college for students from an underserved area with an historically low college-going rate. El Monte students who participate have a guaranteed priority registration at Rio Hondo College and/or a transfer contract with either UC Irvine or CSULA.
His commitment to excellence in education has been recognized by several honors including: the Outstanding President Award from the California Community College Council for Staff Development, the District 6 Pacesetter of the Year Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, and the Phi Theta Kappa Alumni Key Award from the international honorary society for students in two-year colleges.