D V C alum Timothy P. White

Dr. Timothy P. White

Dr. Tim P. White, graduate of Diablo Valley College and currently the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, has been named a California Community Colleges Distinguished Alumni Award winner.

White is one of four 2009 award winners. The others are Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, associate professor of neurological surgery and oncology, Johns Hopkins University Department of Neurosurgery, alumnus of San Joaquin Delta College; Don Morris, retired educator, athlete, Navy reservist and public servant, alumnus of Mt. San Antonio College; and Thanh Minh Nguyen, pediatric endocrinologist/physician, alumnus of Santa Ana College. The award presentations were made Nov. 20 at the Community College League of California annual conference in Burlingame. White is the fourth DVC alumnus to be so honored.

White was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a young boy, he immigrated with his parents to Canada, and then to California, where he attended and graduated from Pleasant Hill High School in Pleasant Hill, CA. He attended Diablo Valley College from 1966 to 1967, preparing for transfer.

A first-generation college graduate, White is now a professor and the Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, overseeing the education of thousands of students. He and his wife, Karen, have four sons.

“When I enrolled at Diablo Valley College and began my higher education voyage . . . I was frankly more of a swimmer and water polo player than a scholar,” White said. “As the first person in my family to pursue a college degree, it was my experiences at DVC that gave me the opportunity to find my ‘sea legs’ academically. I graduated from a high school only 20 miles from that University of California campus in the Berkeley hills, but for me at that time, the notion that I would someday pursue a Ph.D. at Cal was so unfathomable that, well, it might as well have been 20,000 miles away.

“I learned a lot about myself and my academic abilities during my time at DVC,” he continued. “The courses I took helped prepare me for my undergraduate degree, and my involvement in intercollegiate athletics– swimming and water polo– built self-confidence and furthered my clear understanding of the power of teamwork and focusing on goals.”

While at DVC, White was All Golden Gate Conference and was named a Junior College All-American in both swimming and water polo. He was inducted into the Diablo Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

This foundation at the community college level led White successfully through all three systems of California higher education, culminating in a doctorate degree, post-graduate study, teaching, and academic administration.

After transferring from Diablo Valley College, White earned a B.A. degree at California State University, Fresno, graduating magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He earned his M.S. degree at California State University, Hayward, and his Ph.D. in exercise physiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

After two years as a postdoctoral scholar and research associate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the School of Medicine’s department of physiology, he began his professional academic career at Ann Arbor.

From 1978 to 1991, Dr. White worked in the Department of Kinesiology, first as an assistant professor and subsequently as associate professor, professor and department chair. His final year at Michigan was spent as a professor and chair of the Department of Movement Science, and as a research scientist in the Institute of Gerontology.

In 1991, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked until 1996 as a professor, and then chair, of the Department of Human Biodynamics.

Dr. White was hired as the dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University at Corvallis in 1996. He remained at Oregon until 2004, serving as dean (1996-2000) and professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science (1996-2004); and as provost and executive vice president of the University from 2000-2002 and in 2004. During 2003 he served as interim president, which excluded him from candidacy for the permanent position.

In 2004, Dr. White became president of the University of Idaho at Moscow, where he was also a professor of biological sciences in the College of Science. Through his leadership, the University of Idaho established a vision and strategic direction to further the University’s role as the state’s land-grant and flagship research university. Part of the strategic direction implemented under White’s leadership entailed reinvesting resources in support of five key academic priorities: science and technology, liberal arts and sciences, entrepreneurial innovation, the environment, and sustainable design and lifestyle.

He began his position as Chancellor at UC Riverside in July 2008 on a part-time basis, assuming the position full time on September 1, 2008.

Dr. White has received numerous honors and awards in sports medicine, kinesiology and research. He was a special advisor to the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, 1993-96; and a board member and vice president of the American College of Sports Medicine Foundation, 1994-2001.

He also has served on numerous academic boards and committees at all the universities at which he worked. While at the University of Idaho, he also served as president of the Inland Northwest Research Alliance; Council of Idaho Presidents, including a year as chair; Batelle Energy Alliance Board of Managers; Governor’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology; NCAA Division I Board of Directors; Western Athletic Conference board, executive committee, and chair; and a member of the steering committee of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on Sustainability.

Dr. White is internationally recognized for his work in muscle plasticity, injury and aging, and is the co-author of at least 45 peer-reviewed research manuscripts. He is the author, along with the editors of the University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, of a book for the public, The Wellness Guide to Lifelong Fitness. He is also the co-author of three other books: Frontiers of Exercise Biology; and Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications, second and third editions.

“I would like to thank everyone at Diablo Valley College for starting me on the path to where I am today,” White said.

“Research figures recently released by UCLA’s Center for the Study of Community Colleges show that DVC’s transfer rate to four-year universities is 67 percent higher than the national average, and is among the leading community colleges in California in transferring students to campuses of the University of California and the California State University.

“I, too, was a transfer student from DVC to the CSU system. Today, I thank Diablo Valley College for giving me the foundation upon which I have built a successful career.


NOVEMBER 20, 2009

Thank you Judy Walters for the kind introduction, and for your leadership of Diablo Valley College.

I begin by thanking the Community College League of California for honoring me with this prestigious award.

I would also like to thank everyone at Diablo Valley College for starting me on the path to where I am today. Diablo Valley College began in 1949 and as of today, it has over 34,300 students in attendance. More than 1.5 million students have passed through its doors since that beginning, and I was one of them. Back then, the college was much smaller, and, its path, like mine, has moved forward and DVC now finds itself in a much different place.

It is nice also to have my boss here today, Mark Yudof; thank you for your principled leadership. I also would like to acknowledge two of my boys, Tim and Alex White as well as many friends from the Riverside community.

The California Master Plan for Higher Education states that “the California Community Colleges have as their primary mission providing academic and vocational instruction for older and younger students through the first two years of undergraduate education.”

Diablo Valley College not only fulfills this promise, it goes one step further and successfully prepares its students to move on the next phase in their education. Research figures recently released by UCLA's Center for the Study of Community Colleges show that DVC's transfer rate to four-year universities is 67 percent higher than the national average, and is among the leading community colleges in California in transferring students to campuses of the University of California and the California State University.

I too was a transfer student from DVC to the CSU system. Today I thank Diablo Valley College for giving me the foundation upon which I have built a successful career.

Clark Kerr -- former UC President and the architect of California’s Master Plan for Higher Education -- once described the remarkable impact that the expansion of community (junior) colleges had on the imagination of people in our great state of California. He said, “The campus was no longer on the hill with the aristocracy but in the valley with the people.”

When I enrolled at Diablo Valley College and began my higher education voyage just six short years after the 1960 Master Plan, I was frankly more of a swimmer and water polo player than a scholar. As the first person in my family to pursue a college degree, it was my experiences at DVC that gave me the opportunity to find my “sea legs” academically. I graduated from a high school only twenty miles from that University of California campus in the Berkeley hills, but for me at that time the notion that I would someday pursue a Ph.D. at Cal was so unfathomable that, well, it might as well have been 20,000 miles away.

My life was transformed by what I learned at DVC in the classroom and in intercollegiate athletics, and as a result, I had the good fortune of earning degrees at Fresno State, Cal State East Bay (nee, Hayward) and UC Berkeley.

The core lesson of the Master Plan is that no goal is more important than investing in the hopes and dreams of our young –and not so young - people through higher education. As the proud Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, UC’s most diverse campus, I am now in a position to come full-circle. Every day I relish the opportunity to instill in our 19,400 students a passion for scholarship, research and service – nascent traits that were so critical in my development as a youngster finding his way at Diablo Valley College.

I am also humbled to receive this Distinguished Alumni award alongside three incredible individuals. As a faculty member who studies muscle plasticity and aging, I am amazed at Don Morris’ winning over one hundred medals in the Senior Olympics. And as an immigrant, I am awed by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa’s journey from undocumented farm worker to John Hopkins neurosurgeon, and by Thanh Minh Nguyen’s odyssey from the refugee camps of Southeast Asia to pediatric endocrinologist.

Don, Alfredo, Thanh and I were all able to transfer and graduate from CSU or UC and enjoy gratifying professional careers because there were dedicated faculty and staff in the California Community Colleges who believed in us, consistent with the Master Plan ideal that no California student should be denied a pathway to academic success.

It is, therefore, we who honor all of you here today … for it is the stalwart efforts made by all of the friends of the California Community Colleges that changes lives and transforms communities every day. Thank you.

But I can’t let today pass without noting the irony of the times; we are celebrating the success of alums of the Master Plan – and the millions of people we represent that reflects the rich diversity of individuals, backgrounds, families, communities and ambitions – at the same time the Master Plan is under unprecedented and enormous pressure that is unsustainable.

I find it ironic that a guy born in 1949 stands here, honored and humbled in front of you; I stand as a product of a community college established in 1949 as well as from the Master Plan that today is in its 49th year, in a state that got its legs as one of opportunity and promise by the 49ers (the ones with pick axes, not footballs).

It is very troubling that the Master Plan is showing fissures with enormous stress, strain and sheer forces. The Plan has been abandoned as a priority by those we have elected. It has been pressured by the economic crisis whose effect in California will linger for several more years, and it is overwhelmed by the number of Californians who seek to access it.

Those in this room, and the millions we represent, cannot flinch… we cannot give up on the Plan that is the envy of the world BECAUSE IT WORKS! We must hold electeds to higher standards… or replace them. We must elect those who understand that we are not the colleges and universities of California but rather for California: for its people, economy, environment, education, nutritious and safe food supply, healthcare, safety, cultures, arts and humanities, social progress and quality of life. We are the colleges and universities for the hopes, dreams and promise of all Californians - first generation immigrants (like me), to multi-generational Californians like perhaps some of you. We are the colleges and universities for California’s past, present and most importantly now, the future.

Thank you.

as prepared for delivery

President Mark G. Yudof
Community College League Annual Convention
Hyatt Regency, SFO
November 20, 2009

  • Georgia, thank you very much for that kind introduction.
  • After a rather eventful couple of days at the Regents meeting at UCLA, it’s a pleasure to be with you all today.
  • As you know, I’m a big fan and a strong believer in our partnership with the community colleges.
  • California’s community colleges are critically important to advancing economic and social opportunity in our state.
  • With your broadly diverse student population and multiple missions, you provide social mobility to hundreds of thousands of state residents.
  • In fact, the vast majority of California students began their higher education at CCC. Over 30 percent of the bachelor’s degrees issued by UC go to students who began their higher education in a California Community College.
  • These outcomes were preceded by a considerable investment in resources and effort on the part of all three public segments of the state’s higher education system.
  • Yet today, dramatic cuts to higher education budgets and significant enrollment pressures combined with fee increases, as we saw all too clearly this week, threaten college access for many of California’s students.
  • First-generation and low-income students who use community colleges as the gateway to economic and social advancement are particularly at risk in this environment.
  • Despite diminishing state support, my colleagues and I commit to jointly improving the transfer process and increasing the number of students who transfer from public 2-year to public 4-year institutions.
  • I am deeply grateful to Chancellor Jack Scott for the highly productive and collaborative working relationship we have developed. It’s going to serve us well as yet another budget season approaches and as we get to work advocating jointly on behalf of all of the segments.
  • We’ll talk more about the steps we are taking at UC to fulfill the transfer goal. First though, I’d like to bring you up to speed on what is happening at UC and how our funding crisis affects the work that we seek jointly to do on behalf of all Californians.
  • As you know, we were forced at this week’s meeting of the Board of Regents to take very painful measures and to approve a sizeable fee increase on our students.
  • The increase was undertaken only as part of a strategy of shared pain: despite faculty and staff furloughs and deep administrative cuts, we had no other way to close our budget gap.
  • To say that no one is satisfied would be an understatement. Students are angry and frustrated; so am I. The closer a UC education is to being free, the happier I am.
  • But facts are facts. The Master Plan, which has provided opportunity to so many generations of Californians, has too long been under attack and decay.
  • The Regents and I felt that it was incumbent on us, as stewards of the institution, to take the hard steps necessary to preserve the quality and integrity of a UC education.
  • At the same time, we also took measures to mitigate the effect of the fee increases on those with financial aid.
  • Many of the students you serve will be affected by two programs:
    • First, we increased the income threshold under our Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan so that students with family incomes under $70,000 who qualify for aid will pay nothing in system wide fees.
    • Second, my office, working together with our ten campuses, has launched Project YouCan, a four-year drive to raise $1 billion in funds for direct student aid.
    • This effort represents a doubling of the private funds the campuses have raised over the past five years and is intended as a strong signal of our commitment to continue serving students with financial need.
  • So with this fee increase we hope to address many of our most immediate problems caused by the state’s deep funding cuts: these include class size, course availability, faculty hiring and critical student services such as library hours.
  • Going forward, it’s incumbent on all of us here in this room to face some hard facts too, about the disconnect between the voters of California and their higher education system, a model that was once the envy of the world. We have a big job ahead of us to repair that bond.
  • Last week, at our meeting of the Commission on the Future, we heard from Mark Baldassare about the PPIC’s latest poll regarding Californians and their attitudes about higher education. Californians, not surprisingly, have great regard for their public universities: They just don’t want to pay another dime in taxes to support them.
  • We generally have the respect and affection of people in the state, but when you see your neighbor’s house foreclosed on or you lose your job, it’s hard to get support for increased fees or taxes.
  • Peter Schrag, writes in his book Paradise Lost about the decay of what he called “California’s higher education utopia.” The fact is that the state began its calamitous disinvestment in higher education in 1990, the year in which many of today’s students were born. Today, we receive half as much per student from the state as we did nearly twenty years ago.
  • These are the hard facts that protestors and many others who’d like to tell us how to run our business refuse to concede.
  • And here is what Peter Schrag writes about the current predicament: “California desperately needs leaders who can make clear to voters and taxpayers not only the crucial importance of the state’s educational system to California’s future – all of it, from preschool to the community colleges to graduates school research – but the absurdity of an electorate demanding quality services but refusing to pay for them.”
  • Our job is to channel the affection and respect citizens hold for our institutions into political action. Politicians must realize that we in the higher education community, and not just the prison advocates, are a force to be reckoned with.
  • That’s why I’ve taken to wearing this button: “We’re UC and We Vote.”
  • I think we should run higher education for governor. It is the one institution in this state that has admirably produced gain after gain for Californians, and which is best positioned to power this state from recession.
  • All of us in higher education have an obligation to address the disconnect with the public about what a world-class higher education system really costs, and why it is an investment we cannot afford to neglect anymore
  • Let me stress that the fact that we had to raise fees in no way means that we have given up on the state. In fact, our new budget proposal calls for an increase of more than $900 million in state funding to UC—two-thirds of which represent a restoration of funds that were cut due to the crisis.
  • This budget is designed to provide access, maintain quality and stabilize fiscal health.
  • It will allow us to end the furloughs next summer.
  • It will allow us to restart employer contributions to the UC retirement plan, a move that is essential if we are to be fair to the employees who have given UC 20, 25, 30 of their most productive years.
  • It will cover unfunded enrollments and allow us to avoid having to curtail enrollment of new California resident freshmen.
  • It’s an aggressive ask, especially in these times and in light of the state’s longer term pattern of disinvestment. But this crisis also presents us with an opportunity to reassert the vital importance of higher education in California’s future.
  • Part of what we need to do is tell our story. Our systems of higher education affect the lives of all Californians –whether they are students or not. Our workforce development, the research innovations that create new jobs, the healthcare we all rely on – these are all deeply dependent on public higher education. And we have to make sure Californians understand that.
  • At UC, we’ve launched an aggressive advocacy campaign on behalf the university that is intended to raise awareness not only with lawmakers in Sacramento, but also with all Californians about the ways in which UC touches all of our lives through research, teaching, healthcare and public service.
  • We already have 200,000 registered advocates, who’ve generated thousands of messages to the governor and to lawmakers. We’ve launched an integrated media campaign including ads in student newspapers and on Facebook to recruit hundreds of thousands more advocates who will help us speak with a single voice –and very loud one, we hope –in Sacramento.
  • We look forward to marching together on Sacramento this spring, all of us from UC, from the community colleges, and from CSU.

Federal Role

  • In addition to our efforts with the state, we are also looking at ways to enhance the federal role in funding higher education.
  • Without swift action to address state divestment, vital national interests – including achieving President Obama’s plan to increase the number of Americans pursuing postsecondary education and graduating from college are at risk.
  • I am a firm supporter of the President’s higher education goals, but as a nation we need to tackle the capacity problem
  • Otherwise, the result will be counterproductive because federal student financial aid efforts may provide students “access” but they will not be able to take the courses or receive the services they need to complete a degree. While the government is making college more affordable and accessible for low-income student to attend, we are being forced to raise fees and implement cuts.
  • I have heard Chancellor Scott say that as many as 250,000 community college students will not be able to get into the community college classes they want and deserve.
  • There is too little money for instruction and no room in the classroom.
  • We are considering a number of proposals for enhancing the federal role, which I’d be happy to address with you during our question and answer session.

Joint Efforts with CSU and CCC

  • Finally, I’d like to wrap up today with a few observations about what we are doing to improve transfer rates from the community colleges to UC, despite the tough times.
  • In 2009, the California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California convened a work group that developed eight recommendations to strengthen the transfer process.
  • This example of all three public segments of higher education in California collaborating on solutions demonstrates the importance of the transfer pathway to all of us.

What UC is Doing

  • The University’s commitment to California’s transfer pathway remains strong.
  • Despite recent dramatic shifts in state enrollment funding, in January 2009 UC announced we would seek to increase the enrollment of California community college transfer students for the 2009-2010 year by an additional 500 students.
  • Furthermore, I am pleased to announce that UC will again increase community college transfer enrollments by 250 students for Fall 2010.
  • This is especially noteworthy because it is happening at the same time that UC cut its fall freshmen enrollment by 2300 students, despite unprecedented demand. And depending on the budget outcome, there may be further curtailments for next fall.
  • At the same time, the University experienced a very successful Fall 2009 transfer application cycle: California community college transfer applications increased by approximately 13 percent, to nearly 24,000 students.
  • UC Campuses were able to increase transfer because the Regents and I recognize the importance of the CCC pathway, especially in these difficult times. We will continue to stress the need to widen the community college transfer route.
  • These are by no means easy times for any of us in higher education. But by taking steps, large and small, to enhance the collaboration between our segments, we will ensure that we emerge from this crisis as stronger and more durable institutions, capable of serving the needs of the people of California.

I’d be glad now to take your questions.

Thank you very much.