SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments to the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. The 2014-15 state budget includes $50 million to recognize campuses that change existing policies, practices or systems to achieve the following state priorities:
• Significantly increase the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded;
• Allow students to complete bachelor’s degrees within four years after beginning higher education; and
• Ease transfer through the state’s education system by better recognizing learning that occurs across the state’s education segments and elsewhere.
A committee chaired by the Director of Finance and including members appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules will determine which campuses receive these awards and the amount of each award. In accordance with the Budget Act of 2014, the Governor has appointed to this committee a member of the State Board of Education, a member of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, a trustee of the California State University and a regent of the University of California.
Arnoldo Avalos, 44, of Pleasanton, has been appointed to the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. Avalos has been founder and chief executive officer at the Avalos Foundation since 2013. He was head of compensation and global compensation manager at Facebook from 2008 to 2013 and senior global compensation manager at Google from 2006 to 2008. Avalos held several positions at Cisco Systems from 1999 to 2006, including compensation manager, corporate recruiter and manager of business operations. He was a system consultant at Andersen Consulting from 1996 to 1999 and farm manager for Avalos Farms from 1989 to 1996. Avalos is a member of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the Latino Community Foundation Board of Trustees and a founding member of Hermanos Unidos. He earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Avalos is a Democrat.
Douglas Faigin, 68, of Marina del Rey, has been appointed to the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. Faigin has been president of City News Service Inc. since 1985. He was owner and general manager at KBCR Inc. from 1981 to 1985. Faigin served as press secretary for Jerry Brown’s 1974 gubernatorial campaign and was deputy campaign manager for Governor Brown’s re-election campaign in 1978. He has served as a member of the California State University Board of Trustees since 2012. Faigin earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political science from Claremont Graduate University and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Faigin is a Democrat.
Monica Lozano, 58, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. Lozano has held several positions at ImpreMedia LLC since 2004, including chief executive officer, chair of the board, senior vice president of newspapers and has held several positions at La Opinion LP since 1985, including owner, chief executive officer and publisher. She has served as a member of the University of California Board of Regents since 2014, where she served from 2001 to 2013. She is a member of the University of Southern California Board of Trustees and director of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Weingart Foundation. Lozano was a member of the California State Board of Education from 1998 to 2001. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Lozano is a Democrat.
Ilene Straus, 64, of Marina del Rey, has been appointed to the Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. She has been an independent consultant on student achievement issues since 2011. Straus was an assistant superintendent of educational services for the Beverly Hills Unified School District from 2006 to 2011, senior director of secondary education for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District in 2006 and chief educational officer and principal of Santa Monica High School from 2002 to 2006. Straus was principal of Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica from 1986 to 2002. She has been a member of the California State Board of Education since 2011 and received the Association of California School Administrators California Secondary Principal of the Year award in 1991. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts degree in educational administration from California State University, Northridge. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Straus is a Democrat.