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Higher Education's Role in I.E.'s Future

October 23, 2013

Three of Inland Southern California's top leaders in higher education discussed their roles and responsibilities and the role their institutions will play in the future for Inland Southern California at the October Randall Lewis Seminar Series.

Cynthia Azari Tomas Morales Kim A. Wilcox

Speaking at the seminar were Dr. Cynthia E. Azari, (left) Interim Chancellor of the Riverside Community College District; Dr. Tomás D. Morales, President of the California State University San Bernardino; and Dr. Kim A Wilcox, (right), Chancellor at the University of California, Riverside.

"Envisioning a Future of Inland Southern California" is the focus of this year's seminar series. Beginning this fall, the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development is inviting a diverse group of community leaders and committed citizens of Inland Southern California - including elected officials, education leaders, major employers, and heads of civic and environmental organizations - to take stock in the region’s assets, design plans to enhance those assets, and work together as a region for mutual benefit.

An audio (mp3) of the seminar presentations is available here.

Cynthia E. Azari assumed duties as Interim Chancellor of Riverside Community College District on July 1, 2013. Prior to her appointment, she served as president of Riverside City College since April 2011.

Dr. Azari came to Riverside from Fresno City College, where she served as President following a tenure as Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Educational Services at State Center Community College District. Her higher education experience also includes posts as President of Butler County Community College, and Vice President for Instruction and Dean for Business and Engineering at Olympic College in Bremerton, WA. Her public sector experience includes service as the Director of the Education Division at the Texas State Property Tax Board.

Dr. Azari serves on the boards of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and the Riverside Downtown Partnership. She is a former member of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Training America’s Teachers, the Community Development Corporation Board, the Association of Community College Trustees Awards Committee, and United Way of Kitsap County. Dr. Azari holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Huston College, two master’s degrees in Education Administration and Industrial Relations from West Virginia University, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seattle University.

Tomás D. Morales was selected as the president of California State University, San Bernardino in May 2012. Previously, Dr. Morales was president of the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY), since 2007.

From 2001 to 2007, he served in various capacities at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, including Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs, and professor of education. While at Cal Poly Pomona, he established the Kellogg Honors College, realigned the division of Academic Affairs and played a key role in completing a $23 million expansion of the Bronco Student Center.

Prior to joining Pomona, Dr. Morales was Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at The City College of New York/CUNY from 1994 to 2001. From 1992 to 1994, he was Assistant Dean of the School of Education at the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from SUNY, New Paltz, and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from SUNY, Albany.

Dr. Morales is actively involved with several national organizations. He is a Board Member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and will become the organization's chair in 2014. In addition, Dr. Morales serves as vice chair of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was elected to the board of directors of the American Council on Education through March 2016. He previously served on the Executive Committee of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, the American Council on Education's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Equity, and the National Information and Communication Technology Literacy Policy Council.

Before coming to the University of California, Riverside, Kim A. Wilcox served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Michigan State University from 2005 to 2013. He came to MSU from the University of Kansas, where he served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Vice Provost for General Education Coordination from 2002 to 2005. Before that he served for three years as President and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents. He spent one year as Interim Director of Academic Affairs for the Board of Regents before being appointed President and CEO.

While at Michigan State University, Provost Wilcox expanded the university's two community-based medical schools, broadened international research collaborations, redesigned undergraduate student support programs, created a new residential college in the arts and humanities, and facilitated the growth of research programs across the campus, increasing grants and contracts activity to nearly $500M dollars annually.

Dr. Wilcox began his career on the faculty at the University of Missouri. He then spent 14 years on the faculty of the University of Kansas, including 10 years as Chair of the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing. In addition to previous service as Special Counsel to the Chancellor at the University of Kansas, he is a past University of Kansas Vice Chancellor Fellow and a Fellow of the American Council on Education.

In 1991 he initiated the Native American training program in speech-language pathology in collaboration with Haskell Indian Nations University. He has published extensively in the area of developmental speech acoustics, is the recipient of several teaching awards, and has directed teaching, research, and service projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in Audiology and Speech Sciences from Michigan State University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Speech and Hearing Science from Purdue University.