CSU Fresno -- October 17, 2003
State Dean Awarded HACU Leadership Fellowship
Dr. Benjamin Cuellar, dean of the College of Health and Human Services
at California State University, Fresno, has been awarded a prestigious
leadership fellowship by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
that is aimed at preparing more Hispanics to be senior administrators
in higher education.
Honored in recognition of his position and work in the education field,
Cuellar will travel to HACU's national
conference in Anaheim this weekend where he will participate in
a panel with five other HACU fellows.
HACU offers the fellowship to honor Hispanic researchers, executives
and educators representing a wide range of expertise from higher education
institutions in California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico and Texas,
said Antonio R. Flores, HACU president.
"The purpose of the fellowship is to directly address the need
to end the continuing under-representation of minority senior-level
administrators at colleges and universities," Flores said.
HACU is one of three institutions that are a part of the Kellogg Minority
Serving Institution Leadership Fellow Program, funded through the Alliance
for Equity in Higher Education.
Dr. John D. Welty, Fresno State President, said the honor demonstrates
both Cuellar's accomplishments as well as that of the university in
serving the Hispanic community. "Fresno state is recognized nationally
for preparing Hispanic leaders in higher education, " said Welty.
"Dr Cuellar's selection is another example of our national leadership
in this area."
On Oct. 18, Cuellar's panel of leadership fellows will participate in
discussions about emerging issues in Latino leadership during HACU's
17th Annual Conference, "Hispanic Higher Education Success: America's
Path to the Future," Oct. 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County
The event is one in a series of yearlong activities for the Kellogg
MSI Leadership Fellows Program, which will prepare him and the other
fellowship awardees for the challenges of becoming the next generation
of presidents and senior level leaders at minority serving colleges.
"The program will include extensive training and preparation for
the fellows as they attempt to enter the executive sector of higher
education," Cuellar said.
Cuellar's first major activity with the fellowship program was held
Aug. 2 to Aug. 9 in Washington D.C.
"I got a chance to hear from experts and leaders in higher education,
particularly those at the presidential level," Cuellar said about
his experiences at the weeklong event. "I heard their perspectives
on leadership issues and strategies for the current and emerging leaders
of the minority serving colleges in the United States."
Dr. Jeronima Echeverria, Fresno State provost and vice president of
academic affairs ad interim, said Cuellar's participation in this program
is especially significant for the increasingly diverse college-going
students in the San Joaquin Valley as well as for students at Fresno
"Dean Cuellar is already a proven leader in health and human services
programs and has played a significant role in providing leadership for
the next generation of minority higher education leaders in our region,"
Cuellar, 61, who was born in California a year after his parents migrated
to America from Mexico, joined Fresno State in 1978.
He has a doctoral degree in social work from Columbia University, New
York and a master's in the same field from University of California,
Berkeley. He earned his bachelors degree from San Jose State in 1970.
He and his wife, Julia, raised five children - four have earned college
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) was established
in 1986 and is the only national educational association that represents
Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). An HSI is a non-profit, accredited,
college or university where total Hispanic enrollment constitutes a
minimum of 25 percent of the total enrollment.
HACU represents more than 300 colleges and universities committed to
Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America
and Spain. Although its member institutions in the U. S. represent less
than 7 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide, together
those HSIs are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college