By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, has named Cal State San Bernardino President Tomás D. Morales as the recipient for the association’s Cesar Estrada Chavez Award for 2019.
“We are pleased to honor Dr. Morales for his outstanding leadership in higher education, spearheading the effort to cultivate our nation’s future leaders from K-12 through college,” said AAAED President Richard Anthony Baker. The awards luncheon took place at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis on June 12 during the AAAED’s 45th National Conference and Annual Meeting.
“This is truly a great honor to be recognized by the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity,” Morales said. “But it is also a tribute to the outstanding efforts and commitment of our university to help our students excel. It is the lead focus of Cal State San Bernardino and goes to the heart of our educational mission.”
The award is named for Cesar Estrada Chavez, the American labor leader and civil rights activist who, along with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962. The Cesar Estrada Chavez Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated leadership in support of workers’ rights and humanitarian issues. Previous recipients include Dr. Rogelio Saenz (2018), Dr. Harvey Kesselman (2017), Dr. Havidán Rodríguez (2016), and Dr. Marie T. Mora (2015).
Morales, who has led CSUSB since August 2012, was recently selected by Latino Leaders Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Latino Leaders in the country. He is also a recipient of the Ohtli Award, Mexico’s highest honor presented to a civilian outside the country. He has served as president of the board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
Under Morales’ leadership, the university continues to expand it efforts at diversity and helping students excel, including the opening of the LatinX Center, the Undocumented Student Success Center, the Asian and Pacific Islander Center, the Pan-African Student Success Center and the First People’s Center.
He is CSUSB’s fourth president since the university opened in 1965. His commitment to student success has led to various innovative summer bridge and orientation programs for area students. In addition, he has spearheaded Growing Inland Achievement, the first truly bi-county initiative to address education and career preparedness beginning with K-12 through baccalaureate degree attainment. This effort resulted in a successful $5 million California Governor’s Innovation Award.
Before coming to CSUSB, Morales was president of the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY), beginning in 2007. From 2001 to 2007, he served in various capacities at Cal Poly Pomona, including as 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, among other projects. Prior to joining Pomona, 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, Morales was assistant dean of the School of Education at the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz.
Morales holds a B.A. in history from SUNY, New Paltz and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in educational administration and policy studies from SUNY, Albany.
Having served as an educator and administrative leader in higher education for more than 37 years, Morales is one of the few higher education administrators in the United States who has held senior administrative positions at the three largest public university systems in the nation: The California State University, The State University of New York, and The City University of New York.