Robert Garza, Ph.D
Dr. Robert Garza was appointed as the seventh president of Alamo Colleges District-Palo Alto College on July 25, 2018, by the Alamo Colleges District Board of Trustees.
Originally joining the Alamo Colleges District in 1999, Dr. Garza held several positions during his tenure at Palo Alto College, including Dean of Community Development and Partnerships, Dean of Student Success, and Vice President of Student Success.
Dr. Garza served as president of Mountain View College in the Dallas County Community College District from 2015 to 2018. Under his leadership, Mountain View College achieved a 29 percent record enrollment growth for a total of 11,586 credit students enrolled.
In 2018, Dr. Garza returned to Palo Alto College to serve as the College’s seventh president. During his inaugural year as president, he led the College on the journey toward being named a Rising Star of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges, and celebrated the achievements of the Alamo Colleges District and its five colleges as a 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner.
As part of Dr. Garza’s dedication to student success, he has empowered the College to explore new academic programs, such as Dental Hygiene, Advanced Manufacturing, and Nursing. Additionally, he spearheaded fundraising efforts for ¡Celebración! in October 2018 - Palo Alto College’s premier scholarship fundraiser - and raised a record $1.3 million in committed scholarship dollars for Palo Alto College students and employees.
Dr. Garza’s focus on service to his community has showcased itself through special events like Eggstravaganza, a free egg hunt for south San Antonio families, and PACfest 2019, an official Fiesta ® San Antonio event, for the community to come together and be part of the Palo Alto College family. He also created the PAC Family Taskforce to recognize faculty and staff for their continued commitment to providing a high-quality, first-rate education for students.
Dr. Garza has presented at numerous conferences on subjects including enrollment management, student development, and the role of student affairs in facilitating student success. He was awarded the V. Ray Cardozier Alumni Excellence Award by the University of Texas, which honors a graduate of the doctoral program in higher education who demonstrates excellence in their scholarly/professional work.
As an active member of the community, Dr. Garza serves as a board member for the Catch the Next, Inc., and Hot Wells Conservancy, as well as on the steering committee for Leadership San Antonio 44.
Dr. Garza holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation focused on Faculty Perspectives in Online Learning, which included a study that utilized Interactive Qualitative Analysis to identify challenges in online education and capture faculty perceptions about online learning.
He is married to Dr. Esther Garza, an associate professor at Texas A&M University San Antonio, and they have two children, Victoria and Robert.