Staying in the Game - A Legacy of Local Heroes
March 25, 2022 | 9 AM - 3 PM | Los Angeles Harbor College
Staying in the Game - A Legacy of Local Heroes
Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., is the Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), the largest community college district in the nation with nine, accredited colleges, over 230,000 student enrollments, and an annual budget of $5.8 billion serving nearly 900 square miles of Los Angeles County. Appointed in 2014, Dr. Rodriguez has raised the District’s profile and built its national reputation as an outstanding urban community college district to study and work. Dr. Rodriguez has charted a course that includes well-prepared, diverse and innovative faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and instructional equipment, superbly trained and professional support staff, and enhanced business and community engagement.
During his tenure, Chancellor Rodriguez led the efforts for a taxpayer approved $3.3 billion local facilities bond in 2016 and the hiring of close to 600 full-time, tenure-track faculty. He was a principal architect for the statewide California Promise Program, which was the result of LACCD-sponsored legislation with Assemblymember Miguel Santiago that provides all first-time, full-time Californian students with two years of tuition-free education at any of the state’s community colleges. A noted scholar, practitioner and educator-activist, Dr. Rodriguez has 30-plus years of experience as an educator, faculty member, and administrator within California public higher education. Dr. Rodriguez has dedicated his career to high-quality public education and championing equity and inclusion, diversity, and outreach to under-resourced communities. In particular, Dr. Rodriguez has focused his career on educational policies that expand access to higher education and financial aid, advocacy for undocumented and low-income students and students with disabilities, and a keen focus on the leadership development of Latino and African American males. He frequently speaks on the importance of higher education, equity and leadership, ethnic studies, student access and success, governance and governing boards, workforce development, fundraising and philanthropy, and civic participation.
From 2003 to 2014, Dr. Rodriguez served as the Cosumnes River College President in Sacramento, California, and as the Superintendent/President of the MiraCosta Community College District in San Diego. His leadership at both institutions was marked by increased student enrollments, racial and gender diversification of faculty, students and administration, increased support for student success and institutional equity, increased grants and endowments, and robust university, business and community engagement.
Dr. Rodriguez has been very active in higher education issues on a national level. He serves as a STEM Education Advisory Panel Member of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is the past chair of NSF’s Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Education and Human Resources. He is a founding member and serves on the Leadership Group for the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, and is a former director of the Board of Higher Education and Workforce, both of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He co-chairs the Colleagues for Interstate Passport’s Future Advisory Group of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and also serves on the Task Force on Community College Apprenticeships, a collaborative workforce initiative between the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the U.S. Department of Labor.
In California, Dr. Rodriguez currently is the UNITE LA Advisory Board Chair; serves on the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Economic and Workforce Development Advisory Committee; and serves on the Board of Directors for both the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the California Community College Baccalaureate Association. He is the immediate past chair of the Los Angeles/Orange County Regional Consortium (LAOCRC); served as the California Association of Latino Community College Trustees and Administrators Association (CALCCTA) Board President and was an appointee of former California Governor Jerry Brown to WICHE. At his alma mater, the University of California, Davis, he is past president of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association; served on the U.C. Davis Foundation Board of Directors, and currently is the Chancellor-in-Residence at Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Rodriguez has received numerous awards and recognitions from international, national, state and local organizations for his servant leadership and dedicated service, including the Ohtli Award for Service and Leadership from the Government of Mexico; the Cal Aggie Alumni Association Jerry W. Fielder Memorial Service Award; the Archdiocesan Youth Employment Services Service Award, Los Angeles; Educator of the Year, College of Education, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; and the Tom Bradley Local Leader of the Year from UCLA. In 2021, he was named as one of the “LA500” most influential people in Southern California by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Dr. Rodriguez graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a bachelor’s degree in Chicano studies and his master’s degree in community development. He received his Ph.D. in Education from Oregon State University.
Dr. Rodriguez is a first-generation, English-language learner, and proud son of immigrant factory workers. He credits his parents for instilling in him a strong work ethic, faith and resiliency. Dr. Rodriguez is married to his wife, Irma, a licensed clinical social worker and retired faculty member from Sacramento City College. His two children are also educators: Andres, an ethnic studies professor at San Jose City College; and Angelica, a third-grade teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District.
Francisco C. Rodriguez, PhD
Chancellor, Los Angeles Community College District
Thomas A. Parham, PhD
President, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D., is a family man who resides in the Southern California area with his wife, Davida. Dr. Parham is the 11 th president of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), a highly diverse, metropolitan university primarily serving the South Central and South Bay areas of Los Angeles County. Established in 1960, CSUDH is one of the 23 campuses that comprise the California State University system, the largest system of public higher education in the nation.
Dr. Parham previously served as vice chancellor of student affairs and an adjunct faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he had been since 1985. For the past 38-plus years, Dr. Parham has focused his research efforts in the area of psychological nigrescence and has authored or co-authored six books and 45-50 journal articles and book chapters. He has sustained a scholarly focus in the areas of racial identity development, African psychology and multicultural counseling.
Dr. Parham grew up in Southern California and received his bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine, his master’s degree in counseling psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is licensed to practice psychology in California.
In addition to his duties as president, Dr. Parham remains an active member of the community contributing his talents in the areas of social advocacy, community uplift and youth empowerment.