Chapter 6: Successfully Navigating the Mask Paradox: The Power of Institutional Authenticity

January 10, 2022

As higher education emerges from the pandemic, there is much discussion about what must be done to successfully move forward. Given the challenging and continuously changing landscape in which we find ourselves, hypotheses abound about what should be done. But they are just that—hypotheses—and we can all point to hypotheses that end up not being supported by the evidence.

Chapter 5: The Role of the President: Leading by Wearing Bifocals Through the Pandemic and Beyond

December 10, 2021

On Friday, March 13, 2020, Los Angeles County Public Health announced that COVID-19 was an official pandemic and educational institutions must take immediate actions to protect their students. Conferring with the Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet on “immediate action,” I sent communications to faculty, staff, and students that the campus would immediately convert to remote education and virtual business operations and would temporarily suspend campus housing. Fortunately, the following week was spring break, and we had seven days to move from a traditional face-to-face campus to completely virtual.

Chapter 4: Race in Higher Education

November 17, 2021

We are in Washington, D.C., in the year 2028. It's the 20th anniversary of the election of Barack Obama. Equality in America has finally been realized some 409 years since enslaved individuals first reached America’s shores. African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are nominated and elected to public office at percentages similar to their respective populations.

Chapter 3: Holistic Approach to Higher Education

October 20, 2021

It’s no secret that the landscape of higher education is changing rapidly. Every day, tuition-dependent private institutions are grappling with issues related to affordability, enrollment, competition, shrinking state and federal funding, student success and retention, and the looming drop in the number of high school graduates.

Chapter 2: Higher Education’s Responsibility to Generate Social Mobility

September 29, 2021

The magic of social mobility is that it creates a future that students cannot fathom. That was true in my case growing up in a rural suburb of Manila, Philippines, under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. I never imagined I could become the president of not one, but two major American universities.

Chapter 1: TOWN and GOWN Partnerships to TOWN and GOWN Membership

September 07, 2021

I will write about how a concerted community formed across political, racial, and other differences to advance community health and the insight we might draw from that experience to understand prior successes and failures and project better outcomes in the future.

2021-2022 Series Foreword

August 25, 2021

Crises are also crucibles—exacerbating change, releasing energy, and testing bedrock principles and assumptions. At this moment, as we roll up our sleeves to be vaccinated and cautiously remove our masks, many of us are wondering what 15 months of crisis has wrought for higher education. How have we fared when exposed to the high heat and pressure of the multiple and intertwined crises of COVID-19, racial reckoning, political polarization, and economic uncertainty? What assumptions have been upended and what needs to be reclaimed?