Interim Dean Louie Rodríguez is one of 32 higher education leaders chosen to participate in the 2021 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
According to the press release, MLI provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.
“During the past year, it has become more evident how important diversity, equity, and inclusion are,” said Dr. Mary Evans Sias, director of the program and assistant to AASCU’s president. “With the selection of this class, we are hoping to reflect the diversity of this nation and the institutions that our protégés serve. We are proud to welcome our next class and are grateful to them for joining with us to secure the higher education leadership pipeline.”
In 2020, AASCU restructured MLI in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 institute will also feature virtual programming—four meetings a month from March 17 to May 26. Additionally, it includes a tentative, in-person meeting in the fall. Protégés will also have a yearlong mentorship with an experienced president or chancellor and four months of professional coaching from a retired president or chancellor.
An advocate for higher education access and student success for underrepresented and low-income students, and a first-generation student, Rodríguez is currently the Interim Dean, Professor, and holds the Bank of America Chair in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Practice in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California Riverside. He is also the Founding Director of the Center for Educational Transformation at UCR. His research examines issues in Latina/o/x education, Participatory Action Research, and educational equity. Rodríguez earned an A.A. from San Bernardino Valley College, a B.A. from CSU, San Bernardino, and two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Harvard. Rodriguez is the author of nearly 50 publications including 4 books, several articles and book chapters, and has received numerous honors including the American Education Research Association (AERA) Hispanic Research Issues SIG Award for Research in Elementary, Secondary, and Postsecondary Education in 2019, recognition by the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance in 2019, Outstanding Latino Faculty by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) in 2015, and was designated as an “Emerging Leader” in 2014 by Phi Delta Kappa International in 2014.