Office of the President

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.

Within his first year as president, he led Palo Alto College 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. 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.

In Fall 2020, Palo Alto College announced a new addition to the campus, the Rio Grande. When completed, it will be the largest multipurpose building that will promote collaborative learning and interactive instruction with its specialized program spaces. The Rio Grande will be home to advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, robotics, cybersecurity, logistics, dental hygiene, science labs, criminal justice, and more

In December 2020, Palo Alto College was the recipient of an eight-figure gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This marks the largest one-time donation in the College’s history. Recognized for strong leadership and results, the College stood out among 384 organizations across the country.

Palo Alto College is committed to building a college-going culture in south Bexar County through existing programming and developing new and innovative ideas. 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. Dr. Garza is a supporter of the community and is a firm believer that education starts at birth. Launched in March 2021, Educate South is a new community effort that focuses on beginning educational awareness at the earliest years of school by building public and private partnerships.

Dr. Garza 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 Alamo Collegiate Network, Catch the Next, Inc., Hot Wells Conservancy, Mexican American Civil Rights Institute (MACRI), and Texas Vista Medical Center. 

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.

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Executive Offices (EO 113)



Priscilla Aguilar
Director of Administrative Operations (Interim)

210-486-3954 (Direct)