The 2012 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence was awarded to Dr. Charles B. Reed, chancellor of the California State University system, and Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College.
“Dr. Reed’s and Dr. Padrón’s remarkable, collaborative leadership styles reinforce the need to build bridges both within an institution and throughout the surrounding community,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, managing director and head of the TIAA-CREF Institute. “Their abilities to bring innovative vision to their roles, positively impacting higher education across the nation, make them model Hesburgh Award winners.”
Dr. Charles B. Reed has served as chancellor of California State University (CSU) since 1998, providing leadership to 43,000 faculty and staff and more than 412,00 students. The CSU system, which spans the entire state of California, graduates more than 98,000 students per year, as is the country’s largest senior system of public higher education.
Dr. Reed has successfully steered the system’s 23 campuses through state budget cuts while simultaneously meeting the complex demands of increasing enrollment. In addition, Dr. Reed's efforts to build collaborative partnerships and award-winning outreach programs – particularly those dedicated to students from underserved backgrounds – have received national acclaim. He also supports a number of multi-campus initiatives to improve research and instruction, and benefit local businesses and communities.
“This award is especially meaningful as it reflects the important role higher education plays in providing students with opportunities for a better life,” said Chancellor Reed. “Father Hesburgh's ideals of the transforming power of education remain particularly relevant for students, and it is an extraordinary honor to be the recipient of an award in recognition of his vision.”
Since 1995, Eduardo Padrón has served as President of Miami Dade College (MDC), the largest institution of higher education in America with more than 174,000 students. He is credited with elevating MDC into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized US colleges and universities.
At Miami Dade College, Dr. Padrón is helping transform the role of community colleges across the country, raising their academic stature while preserving their mission to teach underserved populations. His innovative thinking provides students with the support necessary to overcome the most challenging odds and attend college, which has helped transform Miami Dade College into a catalyst for the local community and economy. His strong commitment to student success has become a national model for learning.
“Throughout my career, thanks to my wonderful colleagues who tirelessly labor every single day at Miami Dade College and our amazing students, I have managed to win numerous awards. However, this is a career highlight and one of the most special distinctions I have ever received,” said Dr. Padrón.