Santa Monica College (SMC) vice president of student affairs Dr. Robert “Bobby” Adams, who has served as counselor and administrator at the college for 33 years, has been selected president of Merritt College in Oakland.
Adams assumes his new post at the 7,200-student community college on July 1st.
“I’m excited about the position and I consider it an honor and privilege to be selected,” Adams said.
Adams said he plans to take some of SMC’s best practices and “student-first” philosophy with him to Merritt.
“SMC has some of the nation’s best practices and everyone knows it,” he said. “We’re like the old TV commercial for E.F. Hutton — ‘Everyone listens to us.'”
Adams leaves SMC after more than three decades of service, beginning as a part-time counselor and rising to vice president of Student Affairs, a position he has held since 1998.
Among other positions he held were dean of student life and associate vice president of student affairs.
Under his tenure, Student Services expanded and became known for innovations such as the establishment of the “Welcome Center,” a one-stop shop for new students.
“He’s a great team builder ,and he was instrumental in making SMC the unique and nurturing place we are for students,” said SMC president Dr. Chui L. Tsang.
“Bobby is truly an institution at Santa Monica College and has hired almost everyone who now works in Student Services,” said dean of counseling Brenda Benson. “We are an exceptionally strong and cohesive unit at the college and that’s because of Bobby Adams — who he is and what he stands for.
“There is no one with a bigger heart or who has more passion about SMC than Bobby.”
Adams attended Los Angeles City College and Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas before receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University and a Master of Education from the University of Southern California (USC).
He received his doctorate in educational management from Pepperdine University.
Adams is active in professional associations, including Kappa Alpha Psi and Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner City.
Adams and his wife Laura currently live in Gardena. He has a daughter, Flonisha, 34, and a son Gerald, 31.