Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Noteworthy News; UC Riverside Names System's First Latina Chancellor

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Noteworthy News; UC Riverside Names System's First Latina Chancellor

Article excerpt

Dr. France A. Cordova, a former National Aeronautics and Space Administration chief scientist, is the first Hispanic woman to lead a University of California campus.

Cordova, who was sworn in as chancellor of UC Riverside last month, said her goal is to make the campus a leader among research universities and a catalyst for social, cultural and economic development.

"With its star on the rise, UCR's mission is clear to achieve world-class status in key areas of interdisciplinary research," Cordova said during the ceremony.

Cordova, 54, takes the helm of one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. Nearly 70 percent of Riverside's students are people of color. According to fall 2002 figures, the student ethnic breakdown was: African American, 5.7 percent; Asian American, 42.2 percent; Chicano/Latino, 23 percent; Native American, 0.5 percent; White, 23 percent; other, 1.6 percent. (Figures do not include those who declined to state ethnic background.)

Located in the heart of the rapidly expanding inland region east of Los Angeles, UC Riverside is one of the fastest growing among the UC system's 10 campuses. Its roughly 16,000 student-population is expected to jump to 25,000 over the next decade.

Former colleague and fellow physicist Steven Beckwith says that Riverside's diverse student population represents the future of higher education throughout the country. …

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