PASADENA, Texas — Dr. Eddy Ruiz has been named to the new position of assistant vice chancellor for diversity, equity, and inclusivity at San Jacinto College.
Last month Ruiz began in the new position, which was created by the College to facilitate resources that build a culture of inclusion for students and employees and to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion work across the district.
"This opportunity at San Jacinto College was a great one for professional growth, as well as the perfect opportunity to return to an institution with a high minority representation," said Ruiz. "San Jac is one of those places where equity, prosperity, and equality are important. People care about change here, and I do too."
Ruiz has spent most of his career in higher education. He spent the last five years as the associate director for the university honors program and first-year seminars at the University of California, Davis. Prior to that, he worked in the Washington State University Carson Center for Student Success and in the University of Idaho Office of Multicultural Affairs. He also has experience as director of student success and innovative education at the University of Maine and in research at UCLA.
Ruiz says that it is important for institutions of higher education and organizations to have a position that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure students and employees have the right connection to engage in dialogue so there is cohesion throughout the institution or organization. He plans to visit each San Jacinto College campus over the next few months to meet students and staff, ask questions, engage in conversations, listen, and understand how people engage and interact with their communities.
"Dr. Ruiz brings to San Jacinto College exceptional knowledge and background in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusivity," said Dr. Allatia Harris, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and the College's chief diversity officer. "We understand that by embedding diversity, equity, and inclusivity into our College culture we will be a stronger institution and better able to focus on our commitment to student success."
As a former community college student, Ruiz feels he can connect with today's students and is excited about helping to get more students like him into the higher education pipeline.
"I learned the importance of community and caring about others while I was in community college," he said. "That gave me the opportunity to realize who I was. It was a second chance."
San Jacinto College is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution as defined by the U.S. Department of Education and is ranked fifth on the Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine's list of top 100 institutions that award associate degrees to Hispanic students. Sixty-one percent of the College's enrollment is comprised of Hispanic or Latino origin. Twenty percent is white, 9.8% is Black or African American, and 5.9% is Asian.
Ruiz earned his Associate of Arts in science and mathematics from Cosumnes River College. He has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California and two master's degrees — one in history from the University of Oklahoma and the other in higher education and organizational change from UCLA. His Doctorate of Philosophy is in higher education and organizational change, also from UCLA. Ruiz and his wife have two sons.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. San Jacinto College is among the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute for Community College Excellence, and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College serves approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually, and offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. San Jacinto College's impact on the region totals $1.3 billion in added income, which supports 13,044 jobs. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor's and Moody's.