Robert “Bob” Isomoto, who has had 35 years of experience in community colleges in counseling and administrative posts, has been named vice president of business and administration at Santa Monica College. Currently vice president of administrative services at East Los Angeles College, Isomoto, who succeeds Jeanine Hawk, will begin at SMC on June 29.
As the college’s chief business officer, he will be responsible for leadership and administration of all aspects of the college’s business operations, including fiscal services, budget planning, contracts, risk management, and facilities planning and management. In that capacity, he will oversee a staff of 176.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Isomoto graduated from Montebello High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at USC and a master’s degree in counseling at Northern Arizona University.
Immediately after completing his formal training, he dedicated his life to education. His first job was as a staff aide for vocational training with the Los Angeles Community College District and he quickly concluded that community colleges offer the best opportunity for economically disadvantaged and minority students to succeed in higher education.
In 1975 Isomoto accepted a position as an academic counselor at East Los Angeles College, twice serving as elected chairperson of the department. In 1990 he began his administrative career as associate dean of administrative services. In 1995 he moved to the position of dean of student services and in 1996 was promoted to vice president of student services. Five years later he was promoted to vice president of administrative services, responsible for budget allocations and college operations.
Isomoto’s parents were working-class, second-generation Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated in relocation camps during World War II. There were five children in his family. However, his oldest sister died a few years ago. He is the father of three daughters and three grandchildren.