Office of the President
- 2005 CORNELL UNIVERSITY: SCHOOL OF CRITICAL THEORY. Certificate in Critical Theory.
- 2001 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE. Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese Literatures.
- 1996 ESCUELA DE ARTE Y ANTIGÜEDADES DE MADRID, Spain. Certificate in Spanish Art History.
- 1995 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE. Master of Arts in Spanish.
- 1994, 1997 UNIVERSIDADE DE LISBOA, Portugal. Certificates in Portuguese Language and Culture.
- 1993 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE. Double Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and History. Cum Laude.
- George Blumenthal Scholar, Mentorship in Executive Leadership. University of California, Berkeley. Virtual. 2020.
- Presidential Leadership Academy, Inaugural Class. HACU. Chicago, IL (2019). Proyecto Transformativo was one of three selected for presentation at its national conference.
- Becoming a Provost Academy. American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Minneapolis, MN (2019). Mentor: Linda Bleicken.
- Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute. American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Washington, DC (2018). Year-long Mentors: President Donald Betz and President Emeritus Doug Whitlock.
- Minority Serving Institutions Aspiring Leaders. University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Philadelphia, PA (2018). Year-long Mentor: President Mildred García.
- Executive Leadership Academy Alumni Retreat, University of California, Berkeley (2018). Mentor: President Emerita Josefina Castillo-Baltodano.
- American Council on Education (ACE), Spectrum Aspiring Leaders Program, Chicago, IL (2015).
- Executive Leadership Academy, University of California, Berkeley (2015). Mentor: President Emerita Josefina Castillo-Baltodano.
SUMMARY OF ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS
California State University, Fresno May 19, 2021 to Present
Fresno State’s Carnegie Classification is that of a Doctoral University - Moderate Research Activity. As Interim President, I lead the largest and oldest public university in Central California with an annual budget of over $415 million. With a comprehensive Division 1 Athletic Program (Mountain West Conference), Fresno State’s brand is recognized throughout the region, in California, and the country. The demand for Fresno State has increased over the years, and our student population is over 25,000. The University has over 3,000 dedicated faculty and staff who contribute to its recognized excellence. Fresno State has over 230,000 alumni, many of whom stay in the region. Hence, Fresno State’s impact on the region is direct and palpable, as every facet of our Valley life is enhanced by our alumni. As both a Hispanic-serving and Asian American Pacific Islander Native American-serving institution, Fresno State has a highly diverse population. Approximately 65% of the students are first generation to college, 62% are Pell Grant recipients, and over 90% are from Central Valley. Fresno State prides in being one of the most academically selective campuses in the CSU.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
As Provost, I led Academic Affairs in an ascendant university on the verge of significant growth. I championed Fresno State’s mission of academic excellence and access; provided trusted leadership for the faculty; connected a vibrant campus life to the academic experience through continuous improvement of support structures and high impact practices; and fostered an inclusive and collaborative environment for personal and professional relationships at all levels. budget My focus during an unprecedented period of crisis was the support of the faculty through clear, consistent, and relevant communication regarding safety, virtual instruction, planning for future semesters.
Responsible for strategic leadership of the largest FTES college on campus, with a multi-faceted curriculum that addresses the core needs of the University. Supervision of: 4 galleries, the University Press, Center for Creativity and the Arts, 3 study abroad programs, 16 discipline-specific computer labs, a tutorial Writing Center, a concert hall and the Wahlberg Recital Hall, a fully-equipped John Wright Theatre and the Dennis and Cheryl Woods Arena Theatre, dance, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics studios, a foundry, television and film production studios, KFSR Radio Station, and smart classrooms. Management of an operating budget of $20 million, and supervision of 150 full-time faculty members and more than 260 additional employees, including part-time faculty, graduate assistants and teaching associates, and clerical and technical staff.
Interim Associate Dean
Responsible for the College’s budget (16M), enrollment management, student and faculty concerns, technology, and facilities upgrade requests. Founded the Advising and Support Center, which successfully increased graduation rates.
Department of Modern and Classical Languages & Literatures, College of Arts and Humanities,
Responsible for the Department’s operating budget. Key successes: Established policies for allocating department budget and fostered interdisciplinary collaboration. Updated the undergraduate BAs in Spanish and French, and successfully hired and retained 85% of MCLL faculty as of 2014.
Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Fresno State, 2011-present
Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Fresno State, 2006-2011
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Fresno State, 2000-2006
ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE
Senior Campus Leadership
- Co-chair, President’s Covid-19 Task Force, 2020
- Member, Top Dog Selection Committee, 2018-2020
- Member, President's Medal of Distinction Committee, 2016-2020
- Member, Technology Steering Committee, 2016-2019
- Chair, Dean of Continuing and Global Education Search, February-September 2018
- Chair, AVP Faculty Affairs Search, April-November 2017
- Spring and Fall 2020 Task Force. Successfully co-led the Task Force that coordinated
all extensive details on:
- Face-to-face teaching
- Mountain West Conference and Fresno State Athletics Operational Guides
- Academic Technology
- Summer Training for faculty
- Facilities and Cleaning
- Federal/State/County Guidelines
- Student Services and Engagement
- Medical, Counseling Services, Health Screening Protocols, and Baseline Testing
- Internship and Service-Learning Protocols
- Effective Crisis Communication. In Spring 2020, held two faculty forums, and two forums for best practices for virtual instruction for faculty. Sent multiple letters of encouragement to faculty, messages requesting updates on teaching progress, and charged a task force to repopulate campus research labs.
- Collaboration with Student Affairs. Collaborated with Admissions to welcome the largest entering class in Fall 2020, and successfully co-led the Student Success Executive Committee.
- Created and empowered a committee to successfully implement AB 1460, Ethnic Studies in 2020. Through dialogue, collaboration, open discussion, and clear analysis of benefits and outcomes, I led Fresno State to become the first CSU in the system to adopt an Ethnic Studies Policy through a collaborative and transparent process that involved every major stakeholder.
- Budget. Directed deans to stabilize a significant deficit forecast; ended the 2019-20 academic year with a 4M surplus. Directed enrollment management, directed the foundation of a policy on release time, and directed the creation of a new budget formula for the colleges.
- Mission/Vision of Academic Affairs. Initiated revision of mission and vision statements, and implemented new goals specific to student success and graduation rates, fundraising, and academic excellence. 2019.
- Graduation Rates. Carried out extensive research and led the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to identify the 5 most important GE courses that impact timely graduation. Implemented a pilot tutoring initiative to address high-failure rates in key STEM courses.
- Accreditation. Created the Center for Accreditation and Assessment, implemented an assessment schedule for all accredited programs. Successfully led interim dean and faculty in the recovery of our accreditation in the MA in Nursing and the passing of all accreditation requirements with high marks for all our Nursing programs and certificates.
- Online Degree Completion Program Liberal Arts Degree. Helped establish a program with CGE for students who dropped out in good standing. Approved by CSU Chancellor, December 2018. our first 12 graduates completed their degree in December 2020.
- Provost Department Visits. Visited every department and program at Fresno State, AY 19-20. Learned about each discipline, major, and graduate program at Fresno State. Gained a solid knowledge on faculty research, department goals, and potential areas of growth.
- New Faculty Orientation Program. Designed and led onboarding meetings for new university faculty, where I presented and discussed shared governance, our academic policy manual, tenure and promotion processes, and grant opportunities. Continued engagement through the tenure and promotion process.
- State of the College of Arts and Humanities. As Dean, re-envisioned the potential of this event to highlight the Dean's Council and the importance of the College, within the University and wider community. 2016-19.
- CAH Convocation. As Dean, created and implemented the first-ever student convocation for Arts and Humanities. Attendance rose from 75 students the first year, to over 400 in my last year. Chairs, faculty, and staff attended, as well as most clubs housed in the College. Focus on information, fostering a sense of identity, and promoting early graduation.
- Emergency Response Plan. Took initiative in implementing a Plan for all departments and offices in Arts and Humanities. Coordinated with the Police Department in establishing best-practice protocols and training for all CAH offices.
- Adobe Creative Cloud. Coordinated with the CAH Technology Committee, CIO, Provost, and President, as well as with CSU, Fullerton’s CIO to bring the software to campus.
- Social Media Crisis Management. Proactive and successful approach to social media crises, emphasizing clear communication, the University mission, and an expedited resolution.
- Institutional Strategic Planning: Led CAH’s nine Departments and one Program to design strategic plans, with clear curriculum, development, equipment, and personnel goals.
- Fresno State Mentor Program. Proud legacy of mentoring over 10 faculty from various disciplines. 2016-2019.
- Salary Equity. Resolved salary inversion through data-analysis and construction of a feasible salary scale for CAH Full Professors. 2016.
- Summer Arts. Supported application and assured and implemented leadership support for a successful return to Fresno State. Participated in record-breaking fundraising efforts. 2015.
- Advising and Support Center for Arts and Humanities. Founded Center through consensus-building and dialogue with every College department about student success. 2014.
- Co-Chair, Capital Campaign at Fresno State. Focused leadership in directing a talented group of deans; directing and developing strategic campaign priorities for all areas of Academic Affairs. Have forged close partnerships with VP of Development and coordinated with Marts and Lundy. 2019-present.
- Day of Giving: CAH achieved Top College in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Successfully launched a social media campaign that engaged the most unique donors in 2017: 179 unique donors; and 2018: 461 unique donors, out of which 145 were faculty and staff.
- Arts and Humanities Advisory Board (AHAB). Held first ever retreat in 2016, and two more. Focus on goal-setting, clarity of vision for fundraising and community responsibilities. Grew AHAB member support of Dean’s Council from 57% in 2016, to 85% in 2017, to 100% in 2018.
- Dean’s Council. Successfully led AHAB in three fundraising campaigns for Dean’s Council: 100K in 2016, 150K in 2017, and 150K in 2018. Strategically grew Dean’s Council sustaining members: 2016: 51; 2017: 67; 2018: 83.
- College of Arts and Humanities Development. Created a Committee, established strategic fundraising plans and goals; encouraged further faculty involvement in development.
- Donor Appreciation. Nurtured valued relationships with donors; secured key donations for English, Philosophy, Spanish, and Theatre. Maintained an active card-writing campaign to over 600 donors.
- Comprehensive Campaign Priority Planning Committee. Selected as one of two deans to meet with VP Student Affairs, VP Advancement, Provost, and Marts and Lundy to focus Fresno State’s capital campaign. January 16, 2018.
Initiatives, Partnerships, and Grants
- U.S. Department of Education “Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution” award - $2,996,912.
STEAM: Enriched Pathways—democratizes access to success for all students in the “STEAM”
disciplines (STEM, plus Agricultural Sciences and Technology). The award achieves
this over five years, starting in 2019, through:
- training faculty to deliver course-embedded undergraduate research experiences;
- developing substantial work-based learning opportunities for every student to have at least two during their university journey;
- embedding financial and career planning into first-year courses;
- building an endowment to continue to fund these activities post-grant.
- Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (FLAD, Luso American Development Foundation). Collaborated with Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and College of Social Sciences. Wrote lead parts of two key grant areas that were funded: Portuguese American Oral History Project ($50K), and Portuguese Studies Lecture Series ($15K). 2018.
- Prison Art Initiative at Avenal State Prison. Secured 73K in grant money and established the first Fresno State Prison Art initiative, focused on art, identity, and social good. 2017-2019.
- Beijing Union University. Partnership to bolster enrollment of international students in Art, MCJ, Music, and English. 2017-2018.
- Diego Rivera Exhibition. Led and wrote an initiative to apply to the Irvine Foundation for the President’s Discretionary Grant, to bring Diego Rivera’s pieces to Fresno State. Grant was funded at $500K, but not awarded due to the event's cancellation. 2015.
- Central Valley Higher Education Consortium. Active participant in the 28-member strong Central Valley Higher Education Consortium. Discusses difficult and complex initiatives that address the region’s most pressing issues, including college readiness, graduation rates, and degree attainment. Close collaboration with our regional sister campuses in Bakersfield and Stanislaus, as well as UC Merced, and all the regional community colleges. 2020-present.
- K-16 Collaborative. Following Governor Newsom’s proposal, the Collaborative is tasked with developing additional education pathways to help Fresno-area students move from high school to college and into the workforce. Governor links this proposal to a broader set of proposals addressing educational and employment disparities in the Fresno region. Close collaboration with President Jerry Buckley (Reedley College) and President Carole Goldstone (Fresno City College) to create pathways for business, engineering, and teaching disciplines. 2020-present.
- Mountain West Board Member. Participate in all regular scheduled meetings. Volunteered to form part of the MW Board of Directors Strategic Planning group, which is charged with identifying strategic areas that would position MW for success in the future. The charge entails knowing important historical events, evaluating the current state of the organization, and presenting a viable and competitive vision for the organization’s next stage. 2020-present.
- California Teaching Fellows. Board member and active participant of its Fundraising committee. 2020-present.
- Ag Foundation Board of Directors. Ex-officio. Participate in all matters related to the University Farm. 2019-present.
- Athletic Corporation Board of Directors. Active member; participate in all meetings and discussions regarding the Athletic Corporation at Fresno State. 2019-present.
- Leadership Councils: Since their inception, I have been a member of Councils comprised
of prominent community leaders, working to nurture cultural ties, collaboration, and
- President’s Jewish Leadership Council. 2018-present.
- President’s Latino Leadership Community Group. 2017-present.
- President’s Portuguese Leadership Council. 2017-present.
- President’s Armenian Leadership Council. 2016-present.
- University High School Board Member. Participate in strategic planning that maintains UHS as a nationally recognized school. 2018-present.
- President's Commission for the Future of Arts and Humanities. As Co-Chair with Dora Westerlund, led internal and external needs assessment for comprehensive market and curriculum analyses of a Performing Arts Center at Fresno State. Results indicated overwhelmingly positive support for a venue. As Provost, I co-led the second exploratory phase of design options of the proposed facility that would convey its scale, character, and placement on the campus. 2017-2019.
- Interfaith Scholar Community Leadership Council. Helped organize visits from prominent faith leaders that promote interfaith dialogue and promote religious tolerance. 2017-2019.
- The Collegian Advisory Board. Led discussions in major capital expenditures, provided leadership in its direction, and ensured the newspaper’s viability. 2016-2019.
- SE Asian Community Task Force: Group includes Hmong and SE Asian leaders, as well as area superintendents. Focus on cultural, linguistic, and fundraising opportunities for the SE Asian communities. 2016-present.
- Summer Arts CSU Advisory Council Board Member. Member of the system-wide Advisory Board that oversees the direction and planning for the program. 2016-2019.
- Summer Arts Community Board Member. Led regional fundraising efforts with a record-breaking annual average of $40,000. 2016-2019.
- Philip Lorenz International Keyboard Concert Series Board Member. Helped to develop programs and facilitate fundraising with various demographics in the Valley. 2016-2019.
- Chronicle of Higher Education. “The New Shape of Learning” panelist. Sept. 23, 2020.
- Ongoing Media Relations: 20+ interviews, in English and/or Spanish, to highlight academic excellence of our programs and promote Fresno State’s interests in the community.
- CA Economic Summit, Fresno Showcase panelist. November 8, 2019.
- Talk: “Poetry, Ontology, and Meaning.” Crescent View West Charter High School. Feb. 9, 2018.
- Welcome Speech, Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project. June 29, 2018.
- Speaker, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation Breakfast. September 27, 2017.
- Academic analysis of film, Embrace the Serpent, for Cineculture. November 18, 2016.
- Closing Keynote Speaker, Emerging Leaders Conference: “On the Virtues of Servant Leadership.” August 3, 2016.
- Speaker: “The Virtue of a College Education,” Fowler High School. May 6, 2016.
- Bilingual talk: “The Importance of College,” Clovis Unified Migrant Conference. April 12, 2016.
- Talk: “A Brief History of Mexican Literature,” Reedley Community College. March 16, 2016.
- Talk: “Ontology, Poetry, and the Meaning of Life,” Unitarian Universalist Church. February 28, 2016.
- Welcome Speech, Temejavi Festival. April 2, 2015.
RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS AND BOOK REVIEWS
- 2015 The Mestizo State: Reading Race in Modern Mexico. Joshua Lund (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). Reviewed for Mexican Studies / Estudios Mexicanos (Summer 2015, 31:2). Book Review.
- 2014 “Love, Memory and Being in Octavio Paz’s Piedra de sol,” in The Willow and the Spiral: Essays on Octavio Paz and the Poetic Imagination (Cambridge Scholars Publishing); ed. Roberto Cantú.
- 2011 “Capitalismo, deseo y el anti-Edipo en Las batallas en el desierto.” Mexican Studies / Estudios mexicanos (Summer 2011, 27:2).
- 2001 “Love and the Empire in Os Lusíadas.” Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies 7 (2001).
- 2001 “El último de los mohicanos: un judío Cubano,” in Compendio Kozeriano.
- 1997 “La danza como elemento expresivo en tres obras teatrales,” in Del escenario a la mesa de la crítica; ed. Juan Villegas.
REFEREED CONFERENCE PAPERS PRESENTED (Selection)
- May 13, 2011 “Juego y différance en el Primero sueño de Sor Juana.” Conference on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Her Work, Colonial Mexico, and Spain's Golden Age. CSU, Los Angeles.
- May 14, 2010 “Love, Memory and Being in Octavio Paz’s Piedra de sol.” 2010 Conference on Octavio Paz” World Civilizations, Modernity, and Octavio Paz: A Plurality of Pasts and Futures. CSU, Los Angeles.
- April 25, 2008 “Loco amor: Free Will and Différance in Juan Ruiz.” Invited panelist, American Comparative Literature Association, Long Beach, CA.
- April 20, 2007 “Authentic Love as farmakon to Courtly self-adulation in Góngora's Soledades.” Invited panelist, American Comparative Literature Association, Puebla, México.
- May 11, 2006 “Body, Food and Wisdom in Sor Juana’s Primero sueño.” 26th Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages & Literatures. Cincinnati, Ohio.
- April 21, 2005 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Funcionalidad y corporalidad en Primero sueño.” 58th Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. Lexington, Kentucky.
- October 24, 2003 “Neoplatonic thought in Garcilaso and Camões.” 11th Annual Conference for the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies. Irvine, CA.
- November 10, 2002 “Love and the Empire in Os Lusíadas.” American Portuguese Studies Association Conference. Amherst, Massachusetts.
- May 9, 2000 “Quiebre en el epistème: la Revolución Científica y la poesía del siglo XVI." University of California President's Dissertation Year Fellowship Presentation Conference. University of California, Santa Barbara.
THESIS AND PROJECT DIRECTION
2005-2014: Directed 30 MCLL Master’s Theses and numerous Master’s Projects.