Bill Flores

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Bill Flores

Template:TOCnestleft William V. (Bill) Flores serves as Professor of Political Science and Social Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown where he currently teaches. He served as Provost/CEO and Associate Vice Chancellor at Antioch University in Santa Barbara where he added new degrees and concentrations, signed articulation and transfer agreements with community colleges, and expanded pathways for working adults. He served as President of the University of Houston-Downtown from 2009-2016. At UHD, Dr. Flores grew the institution’s student enrollment by nearly 3,000 students (to 14,500 students) over 70% of which are Latino and African American. He established a second campus in Northern Houston with over 2,000 students, added master’s degrees, and won national recognition for the university. Under Flores’ leadership UHD established an AACSB-accredited MBA which grew to be the largest in the region with more than 1100 students. UHD graduates have the third highest starting salary in the state of Texas. Washington Monthly ranked UHD this past year as the top university in Houston for its economic boost and return on investment. In 2012, UHD earned the President’s Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction (one of only two institutions in Texas to earn that distinction) and in 2015 earned the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement in two categories (one of only five institutions in Texas to earn that honor).

Prior to his presidency at UHD, Flores served as Deputy Secretary for Higher Education under Governor Bill Richardson who termed Dr. Flores as “an outstanding leader in education for the state and the country.” In 2009, Dr. Flores was named as one of the Top 100 Hispanics in America and in the Top Ten in Education. He has served as Executive Vice President and Provost, and as Interim President, at New Mexico State University, as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cal State Northridge, and as associate dean at Cal State Fresno. He served as associate director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research at Stanford University. Flores has testified before a Special Congressional Hearing on Immigration and before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on Financial Aid and Access and Opportunity. He participated in the White House Hispanic Serving Institutions Summit and Briefing, and he regularly writes on such topics as immigration policy, higher education, health care, civic engagement, and criminal justice. Honored by former President George H.W. Bush as a 'Point of Light,' he currently serves as co-chair of the Higher Education Track for Points of Light.

Flores serves as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, which represents nearly 471 Colleges and Universities and 22 Hispanic-Serving School Districts, which together account for nearly two-thirds of all Latinos who receive college degrees in America. Dr. Flores earned his Bachelor of Arts at UCLA in Political Science, his M.A. in Political Science and his Ph.D. in Social Theory and Public Policy from Stanford University. He was a Ford Fellow, ACE Fellow, Rockefeller Senior Fellow in the Humanities, and a Spencer Fellow. He has served on over 100 boards and commissions and has received awards from the California Attorney General and the California Legislature, the Governor of New Mexico, and the Texas Senate. He is co-author of Latino Citizenship: Claiming Space, Identity, and Rights and regularly writes on public policy issues, particularly immigration, health care, and higher education. He is currently working on a book on the Civic Purpose of Higher Education.

Flores speaks nationally on higher education, Latino voting behavior, health care, and immigration. He is currently working on a book on the Civic Purpose of Higher Education. He is married to Dr. Noel Bezette-Flores and lives in Houston with his family.[1]

Father of Antonio Flores.



Bill Flores was a member of the League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L) and a veteran activist in the Chicano Movement. [2][3]

He was a member of UMAS and MEChA (Chicano student organizations) in the late 1960’s. He worked closely with MEChA during the mid-1970’s as co-coordinator of the National Committee to Overturn the Bakke Decision. He became an instructor of Ethnic Studies at Santa Clara University and California vice-chair of the Latino Agenda Coalition..

Attacking Shockley

A rally calling for the ouster of Nobel Prize-winning physicist and engineering professor William Shockley drew about 350 people to White Plaza 16 February 1972at noon, including the subject of the rally himself. Shockley sat expressionless but tight-lipped while a succession of speakers branded him a "mother-fucking racist" and an "oppressor." Later, Shockley briefly addressed the crowd, telling them that "I do not find any respect for the power of rational thinking" at the rally. The rally, sponsored by the Third World Coalition Against Shockley, heard from several minority group speakers before marching to President Lyman's office and posting a resolution on his door calling for a committee to investigate charges of racism against Shockley and "any member of the faculty or professional staff' so charged. Burn In Effigy The group of about 80 marchers

then burned Shockley in effigy outside Lyman's office before dispersing. At the White Plaza rally, former ASSU elections commissioner Alice Furumoto called Shockley "a mother-fucking racist" as he stood not more than five feet away. BSU member Chris Fleming expanded the attack to include Faculty Club chef Arturo Lionetti for his attempt to block black Harvard Club member Roy Boggs from a recent club function and also the Stanford Indian mascot. Chris Yee then handed Shockley a sign to hold that read "One Shockley Among Many." Shockley wrote on the other side "Truth . . . Concern . . . Death" and held it silently while Yee spoke. 'Color-Code' Bill Flores of MEChA and Juan Flores of Venceremos and the Faculty Political Action Group also spoke, along with others.

About 80 people then marched to Lyman's office, where Ho Kwon Ping announced: 1) that there would be a rally at 8:30 a.m. this morning to block recruiting of naval missile engineers at the Placement Center; 2) that four students arrested for disrupting Shockley's class last month would face CJP proceedings Monday; and 3) that Ho's own CJP hearing in connection with the so-called Faculty Club eat-in would begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Art Auditorium.[4]

Shockley testimony

A key defense witness had his testimony stricken from the record yesterday for refusing to identify an informant in the Campus Judicial Panel hearings of three persons charged with disrupting Professor William Shockley's quantum mechanics class January 18 1972 . The three defendants are Don Lee, Ho Kwon Ping, and Alice Furumoto. In addition, the defense submitted for decision the case of Gerry Foote, originally charged with the other three, without presenting any testimony in her behalf. Her case will not be officially concluded until the prosecution recalls one of its witnesses against her.

The testimony of Bill Flores, a Political Science graduate student, was stricken after he refused to tell the prosecution the name of the person who informed him that there would be a disruption of Shockley's class. Hearing Officer Henry Ramsey overruled strong defense objections by claiming that the question concerned the "veracity of the witness." Defense co-counsel Ricardo De Anda told Flores, "You don't have to answer that if you're going to get somebody in trouble." Flores again refused to answer and his testimony was thrown out. The defense was dealt another blow earlier in the day when Ramsey would not allow them to present testimony relating to what constitutes a disruption in a classroom situation. In obtaining the objection, Ramsey declared, "The charge of the hearing officer is to find out what the hell happened in that class and not what this professor things." He then recessed the hearing until the afternoon. In his stricken testimony Flores claimed Shockley made taunting remarks to the person who read a statement condemning Shockley and asking him to debate. Flores said Shockley's remarks stirred up the originally quiet group of demonstrators. After Shockley had agreed to a debate with Psychology Professor Cedric Clark, Flores testified that the demonstrators left when they felt their purpose had been accomplished.

Flores remembered Furumoto speaking out only once during the half hour protest and Ho only twice. In addition, Flores said there were only three whites in the room, and that they were "observers instead of participants" because the protest was largely run by Third World people. The only testimony entered into the record yesterday was given by Charlie Bennett, a KZSU news analyst. Bennett remembered Shockley saying, toward the end of the protest, "I would vote for the suspension of any student who has disrupted my class."[5]

"A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond"

Unity, January 28 1991, issued a statement "A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond" on pages 4 to 6.

This group was a split in the League of Revolutionary Struggle which soon became the Unity Organizing Committee.

Those listed as supporters of the call included Dr. Bill Flores, president Chicano/Latino Faculty Association, Cal State Fresno.

New Raza Left

Continuous attacks against Latinos over the past several years — particularly in California — have triggered an organizational response across college campuses nationwide. Similar to the Black Radical Congress, the “New Raza Left” — as it has been named — has organized to put forth a political vision, say organizers, many of whom are professors or students and political veterans of the 1960s-1970s political movement.

Marta Segura, a health educator at the University of California-Los Angeles and a member of the new broad-based organization, says that it is also intended to be a bridge between the activists of the 1990s and the activists of the previous generation.

The organization, she says, is not limited to the academic arena, but also comprises labor and community members. That is because, members say, most Chicanos and Latinos are not on college campuses.

A national conference is planned for the fall of 1999, although Segura says that the organization is not viewing the conference as the climax to its organizing efforts. Rather, the purpose of the conference is to organize against issues such as the anti-immigration Proposition 187, the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209, and the anti-bilingual education Proposition 227. Those voter initiatives were passed in California in 1994, 1996, and 1998, respectively, and New Raza Left organizers do not see a respite. Already, its members are organizing to defend ethnic studies, which has been specifically targeted for extinction by Ward Connerly, the University of California regent who led the efforts against affirmative action policies in the UC system and the crusade to pass Proposition 209.

Members of the organization also have given priority to the right of Latinos/Latinas to attend higher education institutions amid the battle over affirmative action. All these attacks have spawned movements by Chicanos and Latinos, says Segura.

“Many of the groups are splintered,” she notes. “Part of the purpose of the New Raza Left is to bring all the groups together.”

Professor Rudy Acuna, one of the founders of the discipline of Chicano studies and a professor at California State University-Northridge (CSUN), says that the purpose of the organization has to be centered on community and labor issues.

“The organization has to organize around issues important today — issues such as sexism and homophobia,” he says.

Acuña fully supports the efforts of the new organization, preferring to allow the younger generation to shape its character. He hopes the group avoids the organizational warfare of the 1970s — when factions sought to find legitimacy for their causes by “being more left than you are.” People have to understand the past, he says, but they also must move forward. A positive relationship and dialogue with the community is the key, he says. “My hope is that the vision is national, similar to the Black Radical Congress,” says Acuna.

According to Dr. Bill Flores, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSUN, the attacks on Hispanics and the voter initiatives are “a response to the growing numbers and influence of Latinos in California and in the country as a whole. But, they are also part of a broader conservative social agenda aimed at undermining and restricting the rights of all the forces that want genuine social change.”

Flores says that the political right wing has attacked unions and working people, fought universal health care, attacked the right of women to control their bodies and make choices affecting their lives, and launched an assault at multiculturalism. And amid these attacks, Flores says, that the Democratic Party has not defended the rights of the average person.

“Groups like the New Raza Left are emerging because the gap between the richest 5 percent of the country and the remaining 95 percent of the country is getting wider, while the American Dream of owning your own house and having a secure job to provide for your family is evaporating,” he says.

“I think what the group is doing is tremendously significant because activists from a wide variety of sectors are coming together to develop a distinctly progressive Latino voice and a new and progressive Latino social agenda and movement,” Flores continues. “Latinos are emerging as a growing force in California politics, and having their own agenda will insure that that they can and will reshape the political and social landscape not only of California, but of the entire country.”

The recent elections in California, many analysts say, proved the importance of Latinos in any future presidential election. This past year, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante became the first Mexican American elected to a statewide office since the previous century. Additionally, both the leader of the state Senate, Richard Polanco, and the state Assembly, Antonio Villaraigosa, are Mexican Americans.

Segura says that the group is hoping to become a national voice for Hispanics. But realistically, it is looking to solidify as a Southwest organization. Aside from having organizational meetings in six regions in California, the group has already sponsored a forum in defense of Chicano and Chicana studies, and has planned another in February to examine the roots of radicalism in the Chicano community.

“The young student activists want to know the history of the Chicano movement,” says Segura, adding that it will also be a time for the veterans of the 1960s and 1970s to heal the wounds from that era.

In addition to bringing the different Chicano/Latino groups together, the organization is already in communication with the Black Radical Congress and the Asian Left Forum. The three groups have already met to explore a common agenda.

Part of the work of the New Raza Left is to determine what the “plan” will be, says Segura. But unlike the literal plans of the 1960s — such as El Plan de Aztlan and El Plan de Santa Barbara — this time, the plans will only be done in consultation with the community.

“We have to ask the community. We have to have ‘consultos populares’ [a phrase that is the equivalent to ‘town hall meetings’ and is associated with the Zapatista movement in Chiapas]. Our goals have to be in tune with the community,” she says.[6]

Carbajal connection

William V. Flores September 22, 2016.


Coffee today with Santa Barbara County Supervisor (and candidate for Congress), Salud Carbajal. We share friends in common. Thanks to Jenaro Valdez, a close friend to both of us, for introducing us! — with Salud Carbajal.



  1. [1]
  2. [Unity, Vol. 4, No. 7, April 24-May 7, 1981]
  3. [The Making of Chicana/o Studies: In the Trenches of Academe By Rodolfo F. Acuña , page 114]
  4. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 161, Issue 14, 17 February 1972]
  5. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 161, Issue 27, 28 March 1972]
  6. Chicanos Organize the‘New Raza Left’ February 4, 1999