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Suzuki Awarded Top Honor for Diversity Leadership

The American Council on Education (ACE) named Dr. Bob Suzuki, president emeritus at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, the recipient of the 2010 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award.

The award, named after Dr. Reginald Wilson, senior scholar emeritus at ACE and former director of ACE’s Office of Minority Concerns, honors exemplary leadership in U.S. higher education on diversity issues. Suzuki, a native of Portland, Ore., and the son of Japanese immigrant parents, received the award during ACE’s 92nd annual meeting, which ended Tuesday in Phoenix.

During his career, Suzuki taught at the University of Southern California and grew heavily involved in civil rights issues in California, which included working to help desegregate Pasadena public schools. After holding positions as dean of graduate studies and research and chief academic officer at two California State University campuses, Suzuki became the fourth president of Cal Poly Pomona in 1991.

During his 12-year tenure as president, Suzuki was credited with launching a range of efforts aimed at diversifying the faculty and staff and enhancing support for minority students with programs that included a multicultural center, a teaching and learning center to help faculty diversify their curriculum and develop more effective instructional strategies.

“We are delighted to recognize the outstanding work and dedication Dr. Bob H. Suzuki has demonstrated throughout his many years of service as a higher education leader,” said Dr. Diana I. Cordova, director of ACE’s Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity. “During his tenure as president of California State Polytechnic University Pomona and through initiatives such as the International Polytechnic High School and the nationally acclaimed Academic Excellence Workshops, Dr. Suzuki helped improve access to postsecondary education and academic achievement for students from under-represented groups.”

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