Lisa Cardoza appointed the new president of American River College

LRCCD continues to break barriers with a Mexican American woman as ARC’s new president.


Lisa Cardoza will take leadership of American River College on July 15.. (Photo Courtesy of Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

Lisa Cardoza was announced as the new president of American River College on April 28 in an email from Brian King, chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District. 

Cardoza’s previous position was at California State University, Sacramento as vice president of university advancement and executive officer for its university foundation. 

Cardoza is Mexican American and a mother of two boys. 

“My older son is 24 and in Texas,” Cardoza said. “[The younger son] is a junior at Rio Americano High School. [I] was fortunate with a very strong family background.”

Cardoza says she understands upon starting the position on July 15 there are situations that require her immediate attention.

“The love and care we have about each other and our institution shows up in our facility,” Cardoza said. “I have a lot of experience in budgets, so looking at that is [vital]. Understanding where the issues are and where we can make changes and be proud to be on campus.”

Cardoza adds that she knows that there needs to be communication between faculty, staff and the student body to improve the conditions at ARC. 

“I think it’s important to be open and honest and to communicate,” Cardoza said. “To communicate the struggles of the budget as much as possible.”

This is something Cardoza says she has done at Sacramento State while working on the budget and sharing with staff.

“This is where they are going to have to tighten our belt,” Cardoza said. “Here are some areas we are going to have to really look at [when it comes to Sac State].”

Cardoza also says that the student body is the priority. 

“It’s critical in this position to communicate with the student body,” Cardoza said. “To get the information out.”

Assembly Bill 927 signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom allows for 15 community colleges across the state of California to award Bachelor’s degrees, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Cardoza says she is interested in exploring this more. 

“The California Master Plan is [something] that I am intrigued in,” Cardoza said. “I would love to learn more about it and see what will work best for our students.”

There has also been a rotation of presidents at ARC and Cardoza understands that the school is looking for stability. 

“I’m really excited about this [position] and I love the Sacramento community,” Cardoza said. “I think ARC is a great fit for me and I hope to come in and make some positive changes. ARC has a great reputation.”

King said he would like to make sure that the ARC community as a whole helps welcome Cardoza as the new president. 

I am delighted to share that Dr. Lisa Cardoza has been selected as president of American River College,” King said in an email. “Lisa is exceptionally qualified for this position and brings a wealth of experiences in a variety of different capacities within higher education.”