Antioch University Announces New President of the Santa Barbara Campus

The Board of Governors for Antioch University is proud to announce Dr. William V. Flores as the new President of the Santa Barbara campus. Flores will serve as the fourth President of the Santa Barbara campus succeeding Dr. Nancy Leffert. Leffert will retire on June 30, 2016 after seven years of service.

The Board chose Flores from a strong pool of candidates because of his expertise in academic program development, enrollment growth, fiscal acumen, and his strong commitment to shared governance. Flores has also demonstrated a strong commitment to expanding educational opportunities to underserved populations including the Hispanic community. He is a strong advocate for social justice and sustainability, hallmarks of the Antioch University tradition. Chairperson of the Antioch University Santa Barbara Board of Trustees, Vicki Riskin, said “the committee felt that Dr. Flores had both an impressive background and the visionary thinking to lead AUSB into the future. He understands the diversity and uniqueness of Santa Barbara and our campus, and he demonstrated the personal warmth to convince us he was the perfect choice.” Antioch University Vice Chancellor Bill Groves commented that the team is “excited to welcome Dr. Flores and to leverage his vast experience in higher education to help take Antioch University to the next level.”

Most recently, he was the President of the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) where he grew the university in size, reputation, student success, and community engagement. UHD has over 14,000 and is one of the most diverse institutions in the nation. Dr. Flores led UHD in a strategic planning process, developing a new vision, mission, strategic plan and metrics for measuring progress. Since he joined UHD in July 2009, the University dramatically expanded online enrollment, partnerships with community colleges and physical size, grew its downtown footprint and opened a satellite campus in northwest Houston. In 2011, the University was recognized as one of 16 national “Examples of Exceléncia” by the Exceléncia in Education organization. UHD has been named to the U.S. President’s Honor Roll for Community Service annually since 2007, including being awarded “With Distinction” in 2012. Also, in 2012, UHD won the prestigious STAR award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for its transfer and articulation programs with Lone Star College and in 2015 UHD earned the prestigious Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement as one of only five campuses in Texas. In 2015, UHD was recognized as one of the “Top 25 Universities for Adults Returning to College.”
Flores has received many awards and accolades for his leadership in higher education and outstanding community service. In October 2009, Hispanic Business Magazine named Dr. Flores as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country and Top Ten in education. He also serves on many local and national boards, including the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) where he serves on its Governing Board and has served as treasurer and secretary.

President Flores earned his Doctor of Social Theory and Public Policy and Master of Arts in Political Science degrees from Stanford University and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA. Flores’ previous appointments include service as Deputy Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Higher Education, Executive Vice President and Provost at New Mexico State University (including interim president), and Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University, Northridge. He has been an ACE Fellow and Rockefeller Senior Fellow in the Humanities.

Flores remarked “I am looking forward to joining the Antioch University community. Antioch’s rich tradition of providing innovative learning environments that are rigorous and responsive to student’s needs and its vision of ‘offering learners and communities’ transformative education in a global context that fosters innovation and inspires social action’ is at heart of what I believe as an educator. I’m looking forward to being part of Antioch and contributing to the University’s continued success.”

About Antioch University
Antioch University is an accredited, non-profit university and a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education that serves adult students around the world, online and from its five campuses in four states in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. The University lives by its mission every day by helping students realize their potential and achieve their educational and career goals through a rigorous and responsive learning environment. Antioch University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Antioch University Santa Barbara has received Federal designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution under Titles III & V of the Higher Education Act.