California State University, Fullerton

News Categories

National Higher Ed Policy Expert Appointed Provost

The Education Trust’s José L. Cruz to Start Dec. 3

Oct. 11, 2012

dark-haired man in a gray suit and stripped tie.

José L. Cruz of The Education Trust has been named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cal State Fullerton.

Download Photo

José L. Cruz, vice president for higher education policy and practice at The Education Trust, has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Fullerton. He will begin his new role Dec. 3.

CSUF President Mildred García today announced his appointment to the Titan community. "Dr. Cruz brings many years of experience as a faculty member, scholar and senior administrator. His work engaging with faculty in the creation of innovative academic programs, developing partnerships and working collaboratively on different college campuses will only grow the impressive work already being done on our campus," she said.

As vice president at The Education Trust — a national research and advocacy organization that promotes equity-minded educational policies and practice — Cruz is responsible for all strategic and operational aspects of the Access to Success Initiative. One of the nation's largest voluntary efforts to increase student access and success, the initiative works with 22 public higher education systems and 312 campuses serving 3.5 million students.

Cruz served at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez as a tenured professor of electrical and computer engineering and previously served as associate director and department chair and dean of academic affairs for the university of 900 faculty members serving 12,000 students. As dean, he coordinated the academic activities of the colleges of engineering, arts and sciences, agricultural sciences and business administration. He also was responsible for the Office of Admissions, Division of Extension, Office of Graduate Students, Office of Catalogs and Licenses, the Center for Professional Enhancement of Faculty and other academic units. Further, he is a National Science Foundation Career Award recipient and a patented inventor.

He also served as vice president for student affairs of the 11-campus University of Puerto Rico System (UPR), where he led a variety of projects in the areas of academic programs, laboratory infrastructure, information technology, budgeting processes and online courses. He oversaw admissions and academic records, financial aid, international programs and student life programs for the system's 65,000 students. He also served as UPR's strategic planning coordinator and co-founded Puerto Rico's K-16 Council.

Cruz frequently speaks and writes on higher-education issues and has presented expert testimony in congressional hearings. His work in higher education issues has been covered by various media outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, CNN and Univision. Most recently, he has been involved in separate efforts to regulate for-profit colleges and to protect the federal Pell Grant Program.

He has secured millions of dollars in grants to support his research and outreach projects, published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific journals and technical conferences, led accreditation and strategic planning efforts, and established several large-scale K-12 outreach projects.

He earned his doctorate and master's degree in electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His bachelor's degree in electrical engineering is from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez.

His appointment was made following a national search; the 10-member search committee was chaired by Amir Dabirian, vice president for information technology/CIO.

Cruz will succeed Steven Murray, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, who has announced his retirement. Murray was named to the interim position while serving as dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics when Ephraim Smith was named vice chancellor for academic affairs for the California State University.

Tags:  Campus Updates