Dr. Gonzalez is Dean Emeritus of the Indiana University School of Education and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. From July 2000 until June 2015, he directed administrative and budgetary activities for the School on the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses and provided academic oversight to the six regional campuses of IU.
Dr. Gonzalez received his B.A. degree in psychology in 1973 and his Ph.D. in counselor education and higher education administration in 1978 from the University of Florida. From 1990 to 2000, he served as Professor and Chair of Counselor Education, Associate Dean for Administration and Finance, and Interim Dean of the College of Education at Florida. From 1977 to 1986, he was Director of the UF Campus Alcohol and Drug Resource Center and Assistant Dean for Student Services.
A recognized expert on alcohol and drug education, Dr. Gonzalez founded Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students (BACCHUS), the nation’s largest peer-based collegiate organization for the prevention of alcohol abuse. He has also addressed national and international groups and published scholarly works on the Cuban-American experience and Hispanic educational concerns. He has long been a noted and fearless education activist, often speaking to local and global audiences about his journey and the profound difference education can make to individuals and society.
Dr. Gonzalez and his family immigrated to the United States as refugees from Cuba when he was 11 years old. The first in his family to graduate from college, he became one of America’s most distinguished academic leaders. During his deanship, U.S. News & World Report ranked the IU School of Education as one of the nation’s best education schools for 15 consecutive years. In 2012, Hispanic Business named him one of the 50 most influential Hispanics in the United States. In 2015, Memorex listed him among 30 highly influential deans of education in America. In 2018, he received one of the most prestigious awards presented by the University of Florida, The Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Dr. Gonzalez currently teaches U215: Undergraduate Student Success at Research Universities, a large freshman experience course for the University’s Hudson and Holland Scholars Program. He also teaches C670: Problems in Higher Education Finance in the Higher Education and Student Affairs doctoral program. His research interests include higher education-leadership development and finance; healthy campus environments; and factors that contribute to underrepresented, low-income, first-generation student success.
Dr. Gonzalez currently holds adjunct faculty appointments in Counseling Psychology and in the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He also serves as special adviser to the University Office of International Affairs on IU-Cuba initiatives. He has authored opinion columns on US-Cuba relations and DACA for the Huffington Post. His memoir, A Cuban Refugee’s Journey to the American Dream: The Power of Education, will be available in fall, 2018.