Dr. Timothy 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.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEAGUE OF CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD CEREMONY
REMARKS OF TIMOTHY P. WHITE
CHANCELLOR AND PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE
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.
as prepared for delivery
President Mark G. Yudof
Community College League Annual Convention
Hyatt Regency, SFO
November 20, 2009
Joint Efforts with CSU and CCC
What UC is Doing
I’d be glad now to take your questions.
Thank you very much.