Paz Olivérez, Cal State San Bernardino vice president of student affairs, has been selected as one of 22 outstanding, senior-level higher education professionals to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) 2022 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI).

MLI is a premier leadership development program that 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.

"It’s an honor to have been selected to participate in MLI with the support of President Tomás Morales and the university," Olivérez said. "I look forward to building relationships with and learning from my fellow cohort members and benefiting from the mentorship of seasoned presidents and chancellors. This is an incredibly valuable opportunity to strengthen my theoretical and practical foundations as a leader and apply what I learn here at CSUSB and beyond."

With the increasing challenges facing today’s college and university presidents, the 2022 MLI will serve as a pilot year to bolster the qualitative dimension of the curriculum.

“This year will bring an enhanced program that will inform and empower MLI cohorts to be better, more egalitarian leaders, attuned to the imperatives of a full promise democracy,” said John S. Wilson Jr., MLI’s executive director. “We believe this will only enhance AASCU’s annual success in shaping ideal leaders for America’s college and university campuses.”

Since its inception 23 years ago, 694 participants have graduated from MLI. One-fifth of MLI graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advanced significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level.

“AASCU unequivocally supports the cultivation of diverse leaders in higher education, and MLI reinforces the vital role diversity plays in the institutional mission,” said Mildred García, AASCU president. “I am proud to be an MLI alumnae from the very first class in 1999. My experience helped shaped me to be the leader I am today.”

View the 2022 cohort here.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.,-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.