News Release| Commencement 2012; Cal State L.A.

June 13, 2012

Eduardo M. Ochoa, U.S. assistant secretary for postsecondary education, to address Cal State L.A.’s Class of 2012

Keynote speaker to return to the CSU system this summer as an interim campus president

 Eduardo M. Ochoa, U.S. assistant secretary for postsecondary education and a former professor at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), will address the CSULA’s Class of 2012 on Saturday, June 16, at 8 a.m. during its two-day, 65th annual Commencement.

Ochoa will be the keynote speaker Saturday, June 16 at 8 a.m. during the first of two graduation ceremonies. Richard D. Cordova, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and CSULA’s 2010 Alumnus of the Year, will speak Friday, June 15, at 5 p.m. More than 5,000 bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate students will graduate during the ceremonies.

“Cal State L.A. is where I came of age as a professor and higher education administrator.  During my thirteen years there, I developed a deep appreciation for the life-changing transformations in the students’ lives that are made possible by the University. The University’s graduates represent the future of California and our nation, and I am honored to join them in the celebration,” said Ochoa. 

Ochoa has been serving in the Obama Administration since 2010 as the secretary's chief adviser on higher education issues, administering more than 60 programs, and overseeing financial aid policy and accreditation.

He is no stranger to the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. While working on his Ph.D., Ochoa began lecturing on economics at Cal State Fresno.

After earning his doctorate, he began teaching at CSULA where he achieved full-professor status in 1997. While at the University, he also served as acting dean of the School of Business and Economics, chair of the Department of Economics and Statistics, and led the University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He left CSULA to become dean of Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration in 1997. 

Just prior to his current position in the Obama Administration, Ochoa spent seven years as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Sonoma State University. He will return to the CSU July 16 as interim president of Cal State Monterey Bay, a campus that reflects the diversity and mission of CSULA and the entire university system.

“The campus ideals of diversity, sustainability and community embody the values of Monterey Bay, and its focus on innovation reflects the spirit of California,” said Ochoa in a statement released by the CSU Office of the Chancellor. “I look forward to working together with faculty, students and staff as we build on the university's excellent accomplishments and reputation."    

A native of Buenos Aires, Ochoa attended bilingual schools in Argentina until his sophomore year in high school before immigrating with his family to Portland, Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College, a master's degree in nuclear science and engineering from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research. 

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.