On His 'To Do' List: Completion of Electronic Systems That Streamline
As new vice chancellor for undergraduate affairs, Genaro Padilla brings a commitment to the culturally and socially diverse undergraduates he has taught as a faculty member in the English department.
"Because I teach multicultural literature and see its positive intellectual effect on this campus, I am convinced that racial and social diversity deepens and invigorates the educational experience," said Padilla.
His "multicultural philosophy" to research and teaching is one of the main qualifications Padilla says he brings to the position of vice chancellor in light of the current debate over affirmative action policies.
"One of the pressing issues before us is equal access to higher education," Padilla said. "Our challenge goes beyond admissions. What we do will have broad social implications for the state and the nation. Our students represent the best hope for our many communities. They must come from everywhere."
Padilla's appointment was approved by the Board of Regents in July. He had served as acting vice chancellor since January, taking over when Russ Ellis stepped down from the post.
Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol T. Christ said the campus has already benefited from Padilla's "steady influence and crisp insight.
"He has handled a number of challenging policy dilemmas confronting the campus," Christ said. "Despite scarce resources, Genaro is committed to leading us in building a better campus community for our students."
Padilla said specific undergraduate initiatives include completion of electronic systems that streamline student services. "Students enroll in classes, get academic support, pay bills, and seek housing--all in centralized ways," said Padilla. "Tele-BEARS, Info-BEARS and our new degree audit system, DARS, help students get quickly and efficiently to what is important: their intellectual development."
For staff, Padilla hopes to help create an environment where dialogue over important issues such as equal access to employment opportunities and training is fostered.
"I want staff to know that they are valued, and because they are part of this great university, they should have the opportunity to grow," said Padilla.
Padilla, a native of Albuquerque, has recently published a study on the formation of Mexican-American autobiography. He has also edited two books and written numerous on multicultural literature.
Padilla has earned fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the President's Fellowship in the Humanities, and has served on several departmental and campus committees.