11 Latino/a College Presidents at Minority Serving Institutions

The U.S. higher education landscape is diverse and comprised of numerous types of institutions. As a result, there is a need for a diverse group of leaders to be at the helms of these institutions. MSIs often afford leadership opportunities for women and minorities that may not be found in other sectors of higher education. Here is a list of 10 past and present Latino/a college presidents at MSIs.

tomas rivera1.) Tomás Rivera – University of California-Riverside

In 1979, Rivera was named Chancellor at the University of California Riverside. He was both the youngest chancellor ever and the first minority chancellor at this university. For almost twenty years, Rivera worked alongside his family members as a migrant worker. This experience formed the basis of his best-known literary work, …Y No Se lo Trago la Tierra / And the Earth Did Not Part, and also helped form his educational philosophies concerning people of color.

tomas arciniega2.) Tomás A. Arciniega – California State University-Bakersfield

Tomás A. Arciniega, CSU President Emeritus, served as president of California State University-Bakersfield for 21 years (1983-2004). As president and professor of educational administration, he was the chief executive officer of this institution which, since its early history, has enjoyed an outstanding reputation, and has a rapidly growing multi-ethnic population that it serves. In 1973 he was named dean of education at San Diego State University, and served in that post until 1980. He served as provost at California State University, Fresno from 1980 to 1983, and in 1983 he was named president of California State University-Bakersfield.

manuel esteban3.) Manuel A. Esteban – California State University-Chico

Dr. Esteban assumed the position of president of CSU-Chico in August 1993. Prior to coming to CSU-Chico, Esteban was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Humboldt State University for three years. From 1987 to 1990, he was dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at California State University, Bakersfield.

Ruben_Arminana4.) Ruben Armina- Sonoma State University

Ruben Armiñana became the sixth president of Sonoma State University in 1992. He is also professor of political science and teaches or guest lectures on occasion. During Dr. Armiñana’s tenure he has been successful in furthering the academic and co-curricular programs of the University, leading to Sonoma State University being one of the most popular campuses in the California State University.

piedad robertson5.) Piedad F. Robertson- Santa Monica College

Piedad F. Robertson has served as superintendent/President of Santa Monica College since July 1, 1995. Since coming to Santa Monica College, Dr. Robertson has established herself as a leader in innovative educational programs, workforce and economic development, fundraising, community and government relations, planning, and effective management.

anna solley6.) Anna Solley – Phoenix College

Dr. Anna Solley brings 36 years of higher education experience to her role as President of Phoenix College. A long-time Maricopa County Community College District administrator, she provides exemplary leadership in the complex environment of higher education. Dr. Solley assumed the role of Acting President of Phoenix College in January 2005 and was appointed President on April 25, 2006. Prior to serving in this capacity, she spent four years in the role of Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD).
dr. soto7.) Carlos Soto – Hillsborough Community College

Dr. Soto has served as the Brandon Campus President, since 1999. From 1996 to 1999 he served as the Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Milwaukee Area Technical College, where he was responsible for all instructional components of the college, which included four campuses, eight instructional divisions, seven centers, and over 110 instructional programs. He also served as the Dean of Health Occupations from 1987 to 1996. Dr. Soto has held faculty positions at Northern Kentucky University and Southern Illinois University.

anne prisco8.) Anne Prisco – Felecian College

Dr. Anne Prisco was selected as Felician College’s fifth president and began her tenure on July 1, 2012. Dr. Prisco, a Brooklyn, N.Y., native, brings to Felician more than 30 years of experience in higher education, where she served in a number of roles, including administrator, faculty member, consultant and policy researcher. Before coming to Felician, Dr. Prisco served as vice president for enrollment management at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and also taught in the School of Education’s doctoral program and the department of economics.

juliet garcia9.) Juliet V. García – University of Texas at Brownsville

Juliet V. García joined The University of Texas System as president of The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) in January 1992 after having served as president of Texas Southmost College (TSC) for six years. When she was named as president of the comprehensive community college in 1986, she became the first Mexican-American woman to become president of a college or university in the United States.

Matos-Rodriguez10.) Félix V. Matos Rodríguez- (HCC) of The City University of New York (CUNY)

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez took office as the 6th President of Hostos Community College (HCC) of The City University of New York (CUNY) on July 1, 2009. He has embraced CUNY’s and Hostos’ mission of providing a quality education to motivated students, particularly those who come from backgrounds traditionally not well served by higher education and those who have the desire to transform their lives through a rigorous liberal arts and sciences education and through professional career programs.

Josey Aybar11.) José M. Aybar – Richard Daley College

José M. Aybar, is the president of Richard J. Daley College in Chicago, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, a position he has held since August 2009. He has helped develop and implement a major initiative at the campus to increase academic support to students in need of remediation through the innovative Developmental Education Initiative.

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