Eric Bishop, a University of La Verne alumnus, who also held several positions at La Verne – including associate dean of academic advising, journalism professor and Campus Times adviser – was recently appointed president of Ohlone Community College in Fremont, California. He starts July 6.
Bishop will serve as the seventh president of Ohlone Community College, replacing Gari Browning, who retires in June.
Bishop said he hopes to bring his leadership skills to Ohlone Community College and is excited to collaborate with the faculty and staff.
“Right now, the toughest part is navigating out of the COVID-19 crisis and the upcoming economic crisis for the next semester,” Bishop said. “There are a lot of constituents that are being taken into consideration, from our students to faculty and staff.”
At the University of La Verne, Bishop earned a bachelor of arts in journalism in 1988, then a master of arts in communications from in 1994, and a doctorate from in Organizational Leadership in 2008.
“I held the position of editor in chief back when the newspaper production was located in the white tents, which now serves as the athletics department,” Bishop said.
Stephen Chavez, Bishop’s former classmate and current adjunct professor in the communications department, said he recalls the time he spent with Bishop writing for the Campus Times and Bishop’s passion and dedication to his work.
“When I was on Campus Times my junior year, Eric was editor in chief and he loved covering local sports teams on campus,” Chavez said. “To watch him grow from that position to president of a college is truly amazing. He embodies character traits that I admire and I can see how his leadership and caring personality transcends to him becoming a leader on a college campus.”
Mike Laponis, professor of communications, said his collaborations with Bishop in the communications department cemented their friendship.
“I remember we took a trip to different news stations around different cities during a January term class we taught together, and we got to know more about each other,” Laponis said.
Bishop and Laponis flew to New York where they appeared on camera and on the soundstage of Good Morning America. From there, both rode a train to Washington D.C and then flew to Atlanta where they visited the set of CNN.
Although Bishop transitioned from student to faculty member, to administrator during his time at ULV, he never lost his connection with students on campus, said Laponis.
“When he became director of academic advising, Eric was having huge impacts on student’s goals and careers,” Laponis said. “He has always been student oriented and down to earth with everyone. I miss working with him, but am so happy for his accomplishment and appreciate him as a friend.”
After leaving ULV in 2007, Bishop served as the dean of Chaffey College’s Fontana campus for seven years. Since 2014, he became vice president of student services at Chaffey College and currently holds this position.
Don Pollock, emeritus professor of communications, said Bishop possesses a personality that easily attracts people to him and was very popular among faculty and students at ULV.
“I was on the committee that hired Eric as a professor, and years later he hired me to work as a consultant at Chaffey College, where we worked together,” Pollock said. “Eric has a real passion for teaching and has always been quietly ambitious.”
Pollock said he recalls his conversations with Bishop about his goals of becoming president of a community college.
“Eric has been wanting this for a long time now and becoming president of a community college almost seems like something you joke about, but it’s amazing he has finally achieved a lifelong goal,” Pollock said.
While at Chaffey College, Bishop created a program that connects Chaffey College and nearby K-12 school districts to further emphasize the importance of going to college for young students. As Vice President of Student Services, Bishop is able to collaborate with the federal, state, and local government on behalf of the college.
Bishop also holds a position on the state-wide Chief Student Services Officers Association Executive Board and on the Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees.
During his free time, Bishop enjoys spending his time with family and listens to audiobooks and music.
“I feel like I am ready for this position and am excited and looking forward to it,” Bishop said.
Alondra Campos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.