Provost José Luis Cruz
José Luis Cruz became provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at California State University, Fullerton in December 2012.
Since being appointed, Dr. Cruz has initiated, nurtured, and advanced many efforts conducive to Cal State Fullerton’s quest to become a nationally recognized model comprehensive university for the quality of programs offered to its diverse student body.
Specifically, he has led University-wide efforts to:
-strengthen shared governance structures;
-build the administrative capacity and develop the operational plans necessary to advance our institutional mission and achieve the University’s Strategic Goals;
-recruit, retain, and develop a high-quality and diverse faculty;
-develop the University’s first-ever Academic Master Plan and implement the educational assessment plan necessary to maintain a curricular and co-curricular environment that prepares students for participation in a global society and is responsive to workforce needs;
-implement a broad range of student success initiatives to increase student achievement in bottleneck, gateway, and low-success-rate academic courses to drive improvements in student persistence, increase graduation rates, and narrow the achievement gaps of underrepresented students;
-deepen the University’s stewardship of place;
-map the academic progression of undergraduate students from admission to graduation to better inform future enrollment decisions; and
-position the University well for the State of California’s anticipated shift to outcomes-based funding.
Prior to his position at Cal State Fullerton, Dr. Cruz served as vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practice at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C. He is a former vice president for Student Affairs of the University of Puerto Rico system and served as chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez.
At The Education Trust, Dr. Cruz oversaw the national Access to Success Initiative (22 public university systems, 312 campuses, 3.5 million students) and was involved in separate efforts to regulate the for-profit college industry and to protect the federal Pell Grant Program.
At the University of Puerto Rico System Office, Dr. Cruz oversaw admissions, financial aid, academic records, international programs, and student life programs for the 11-campus, 65,000-student system. He also served as UPR’s coordinator for strategic planning and cofounded Puerto Rico’s K-16 Council.
Dr. Cruz earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez and master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Dr. Cruz is fluent in English and Spanish and has published extensively in international scientific journals and for technical conferences. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Education Department, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and various corporations, among others.
Dr. Cruz is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a National Science Foundation Career Award recipient. Active in industry, he is a patented inventor.
Dr. Cruz serves on The Education Trust’s Board of Directors. He is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher educational issues and has testified before the U.S. Congress. His work has been covered by regional, state, and national print, online, and broadcast media outlets.