KCCD welcomes New Chancellor Steven Bloomberg and Bakersfield College President Jerry Fliger

March 25, 2024 /

The Kern Community College District (KCCD) welcomed newly appointed leaders District Chancellor Steven Bloomberg and Bakersfield College President Jerry Fliger at the Weill Institute, last Thursday. Both were appointed in December and made their public debut in March.

“Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the first day of a new chapter in the history of the Kern Community College District.  A few months ago, after an exhaustive nationwide search, we announced the appointment of Dr. Steven Bloomberg as our new District Chancellor, and Dr. Jerry Fliger as our new Bakersfield College President,” KCCD annouced. 

“I’m confident that the two administrators we’re introducing to the public today are going to continue the tradition of excellence as we expect of the district and its city colleges,” Trustee John Corbett said. 

BC President Dr. Jerry Fliger is to serve as the 11th President in BC history and has been working in higher education for over two decades as faculty member, department chair and dean.

“When you look around our region, we’ve got lots of work to do. We’ve done a great job, but there’s room for growth.  So the new programs that we don’t know about,  that’s what we’re going to be building.  The great programs that we have, that’s what we’re going to be supporting.  I’m looking forward to learning more about the college, about our students, and about our industry partners,” Fliger said. 

Chancellor Bloomberg started his career with KCCD as a workforce director for Cerro Coso College in 1994 and in the last five years was the president of Southeast Arkansas College. Bloomberg is now the seventh chancellor in history for KCCD. 

Bloomberg shared he will frame his new position as one word: access. “Access to higher education is critical to improving the lives of families,” he explained. Bloomberg stated Bakersfield has a large metropolitan statistical area and smaller rural comminities so as a district they must provide access for all students and expand opportunities for enrollment plans for high school students. 

“If you’re interested in end to end generational poverty,  if you’re tired of watching families struggle, if you’re tired of seeing people suffer,  this is the pathway to economic freedom and economic mobility,” Bloomberg said. 

Like many college students, Bloomberg shared, he was a first generation college student. Although it was a tough journey for Bloomberg he was thankful he wound up at Cerro Coso Community College. “Because without Cerro Coso,  I’m not here today. Without those opportunities, without those leaders who took a chance on me when I didn’t even understand why they were doing it,  I would not be with you today.  Access means that we collaborate. As Dr. Fliger said, with our business and industry partners, we want to ensure that they can recruit the next generation  of a very skilled workforce,” he said. 

Bloomberg acknowledged the reason why he is here today is because of everyone who are members of the district. “You’re the reason we’re going to be successful. It’s not because of me.  To our team today assembled here and our team across the district.  I’m honored by the opportunity to work with you. And together, we will achieve extraordinary results,” he continued. “Applause to our students, you are the reason that I’m here.  I am your [strongest] advocate.  I’m your strongest supporter, and I’m here to do whatever it takes to make sure that you realize your dream, whatever that dream may be.  There are many people who work tirelessly today to make this event happen.” 

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Haley Duval

Haley is a reporter based in Bakersfield, CA.