Greetings! I am happy to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium (CVHEC) digital newsletter.
CVHEC represents 27 colleges and universities in the nine-county region of the Central Valley from San Joaquin County in the north to Kern County in the south. I am delighted that we can use this forum to share highlights and successes of our member institutions with you as planning for the 2020-21 academic year is underway.
As we approach the fall 2020 semester, our member institutions, led by dedicated and committed leaders, have been contemplating and planning opening the fall semester in the midst of a national pandemic, a state budget negatively impacted by the pandemic and the civil unrest in many parts of our country due to the tragic deaths of African American citizens George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks. Students, faculty and staff can expect to experience an opening that will ensure a high-quality educational experience that will also provide for the safety of all.
As you make your way through our newsletter, we take the opportunity to introduce you to Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz, the newly appointed Chancellor of the University of California Merced. Dr. Muñoz comes to the Central Valley from the University of Houston, Downtown Campus and is returning home as a native Californian.
We also ask that you join us in congratulating CVHEC member California Health Sciences University (CHSU) for the historic opening of its College of Osteopathic Medicine on July 21, 2020, with an inaugural class of 75 medical students. CHSU has a mission to recruit and train Central Valley students in their university. Of the initial cohort of students, 28% are from the Central Valley and 35% speak Spanish, both important for our valley. Thank you CHSU for your commitment to our region and its communities.
Finally, we highlight work of highly talented faculty and administrators in the Central Valley region surrounding the benefit of dual enrollment to Central Valley high school students and offer a glimpse of that effort through a report titled, “Dual Enrollment in the Central Valley, Working Toward a Unified Approach for Equity and Prosperity.”
In addition to this work, we want to thank AT&T for its generous contribution to advance our dual enrollment efforts with a $25,000 donation to benefit CVHEC’s dual enrollment work to increase post-secondary completion in Fresno County.
I hope you enjoy this issue of our digital newsletter and those coming in the months to come.
Benjamin T. Duran, Ed.D
Dr. Benjamin T. Duran, President-Emeritus of Merced Community College District (2005-2012), has served as CVHEC executive director since 2015.