Dr. Bill Flores


Dr. Bill Flores is Professor of Political Science and Social Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown where he teaches. Dr. Flores is co-editor of Democracy, Civic Engagement, and Citizenship published by Lexington Press. In 2019, the book was the focus of a special meeting of higher education hosted by the Kettering Foundation held in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club. Flores served as 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 and dramatically increased online and hybrid enrollments. 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) with over 350,000 hours of community service valued at more than $6.8 million to the Houston area.

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' for his service. Flores served as co-chair of the Higher Education Track for Points of Light.

Flores has served on over 100 boards and commissions throughout the country. He served 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 and served on the HACU Governing Board for eight years. 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 served as Director of the Central Valley Center for Energy and Environmental Research and led a team researching cancer clusters. He served as President of the Rio Grande Economic Development Corporation and represented New Mexico on the Board of the El Paso Branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank. Dr. Flores 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 married to Dr. Noël Bezette-Flores and lives in Houston with his family.