Jorge G. Gonzalez, an economics professor and special assistant to the president at Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas, has been named dean and vice president of academic affairs at Occidental College after a national search, President Jonathan Veitch has announced.
A member of the Trinity faculty since 1989, Gonzalez served as chair of the Economics Department for nine years and as special assistant to the president since 2008. In those positions, he has played an important role in the internationalization of the curriculum, the development of an open access policy for faculty scholarship, and the creation of new interdisciplinary initiatives. He served as an American Council on Education Fellow at Pomona College in 2007-08.
"I am convinced that Jorge has the skills and the vision to be an effective advocate for the faculty and a leader who can help Occidental reach the full measure of its potential," Veitch said. "Jorge has a real passion for the liberal arts. He has demonstrated capacity for problem-solving and consensus-building. Perhaps most importantly, he is a person of genuine warmth, thoughtfulness, intelligence and judgment."
"I am thrilled to be able to join Occidental," Gonzalez said. "Oxy's mission and its dedication to academic excellence in the context of cultural diversity resonate perfectly with me. I look forward to working with a faculty that like few others combines outstanding teaching with sophisticated and far-reaching research."
Gonzalez, who will begin his new job at Occidental on Aug.1, played a major role in the development of Trinity's Languages Across the Curriculum program, the university's first intersession program in Vietnam, and a major student and faculty exchange program with the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.
He headed the development of Trinity's open access policy, which this year made it the first primarily undergraduate institution to adopt such a policy for the publication of faculty scholarship. As part of the university's recent capital campaign, Gonzalez also help create its MAS initiative, an interdisciplinary program that seeks to make Trinity the nation's top program at a liberal arts institution related to the study of Mexico, the Americas, and Spain.
A graduate of the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico, Gonzalez earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University. He has published extensively on such topics as foreign investment, undocumented immigration, international trade in the Americas, the Mexican financial system, and the political economy of U.S. trade and immigration legislation. A winner of Trinity's top teaching award, he has taught courses in micro-and macroeconomics, international trade, and the economy of Mexico.