Dr. Matt Wetstein is in his seventh year as President of Cabrillo College. As a CEO he has played an active role in advocating for community college students on affordability and housing insecurity issues. He currently serves as co-chair of the Affordability, Food and Housing Access Task Force for the Community College League of California. While serving on the task force, he has contributed to two major policy briefs calling for student housing funding in the CCC system and for increased financial aid funding. During his tenure at Cabrillo, he helped establish the first community college partnership with Landed to provide housing down payment assistance for teachers and staff at the college. He has championed housing projects and Cabrillo secured $111 million in state-backed funding for an innovative student housing project with UCSC. Matt has also participated in the Cabrillo Hispanic Serving Institution task force and collaborates with an internal Cabrillo leadership team that is implementing programs and practices to make the college more welcoming and inclusive to students and the community. During his term at Cabrillo, the college has also implemented the UMOJA program for African American student success and the Rising Scholars Program for justice-impacted students. Matt also has served on several local economic development and non-profit boards, including the United Way, Agri-Culture, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, Santa Cruz County Business Council, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Sutter-PAMF Community Advisory Board.
Matt earned a Master's and Doctoral degree in political science from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL). He started his academic career as a political science professor and has won teaching awards from both students and his peers, including the Academic Senate's Distinguished Faculty Award. He has been a statewide leader in the planning and research field, having served on the Board and as President of the Research and Planning Group of California Community Colleges. Matt was a member of the pioneering class of Aspen Institute Presidential Fellows for community College Excellence, a group of 40 community college leaders selected for training in leadership and change at U.S. community colleges.
A little-known fact about Matt is that he and his wife Cindy Ostberg have an international reputation as leading scholars on the Supreme Court of Canada. They have co-authored several books on the Court’s decision-making patterns and written more than 15 peer reviewed articles. Their 2007 book Attitudinal Decision Making in the Supreme Court of Canada is one of the most cited works relating to the court’s patterns of decision making by political scientists and legal scholars. Their most recent publications will appear later this summer in the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Judicial Behavior and the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, one of Canada’s leading law journals.
Cabrillo College empowers students to be effective communicators, critical thinkers, and responsible world citizens. With a commitment to quality and equity, we connect all learners to pathways that propel them from where they are to where they aspire to be, including: academic, personal, and career growth.
Cabrillo College improves the world, one student at a time.