Tom Burke

Transfer Project Coordinator & Kern MA Upskilling Lead

Thomas J. Burke, Kern Community College District Chancellor-emeritus, coordinates CVHEC’s Transfer Project -working with member institutions throughout the Central Valley’s nine-county region- and was named to lead the Consortium’s Kern Master’s Teacher Up-skilling Pathway for English and Mathematics.

Tom has been involved in the California Community College system for 24 years including as the chief financial officer before being named KCCD chancellor in 2016. In November, 2022 the Association of Chief Business Officials (ACBO) awarded Tom its Achievement of Excellence Award for his contributions to ACBO and the State Community College System.

As head of KCCD prior to his retirement in July, 2021, Tom oversaw the district which includes Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College and Porterville College, serving nearly 40,000 students in five counties.

Prior to KCCD, Tom worked as a manager of Regulatory and Governmental Affairs and in Financial Planning for Contel and as a Financial Analyst for the Getty Oil Company.

Other career highlights include involvement with a team of California Community College Business Officers that developed the California Community College System’s previous statewide funding resource allocation model which was adopted in 2006 with the passage of Senate Bill 361. In 2014, Tom was recognized by the Association of California Community College Administrators with their Excellence in Leadership Award

During his time as KCCD chancellor, Tom was a member of the California League of Community Colleges State Student-Centered Funding Formula Taskforce and the Affordability, Food & Housing Access Taskforce. As the district CFO, Tom was an ACBO region representative, vice president and president. He was also a member of the State Chancellor’s Fiscal Advisory Group.

Tom has also been an adjunct faculty member for California State University, Bakersfield’s Educational Leadership Doctorial Program.

He earned his Master’s in Business Administration at CSUB in 1986 and his bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo in 1981.

Tom is also active with various local professional organizations and charities including the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary and the Golden Empire Gleaners.

Tom is married to Tina (also a CSUB Alumnus) and has three adult children: John Michael, Kerry and Patrick.