General Sessions

General Session | Tuesday, May 2 | 3:45 PM – 5:05 PM 

Leadership in Challenging Times

As a former university business officer, San José State University President Cynthia Teniente-Matson knows the challenges faced by the WACUBO community – and how those challenges have grown in recent years. During this session, President Teniente Matson will speak to shifting expectations for college and university finance, administrative, and operations staff, particularly in a time of industry transformation, overlapping crises, changing workforce behaviors, and dynamic political environments.

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President, San José State University 

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson’s tenure as San José State University's 31st president began January 16, 2023. She is the first Latina and fourth woman to serve in the role since the university’s founding in 1857. 

Before joining SJSU, Dr. Teniente-Matson was the second president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA), one of the fastest-growing universities in Texas. Since becoming president in 2015, Dr. Teniente-Matson forged an audacious strategic plan for the University to fulfill its mission and bring to life its core values while achieving several important goals, including becoming a national model for student and academic success. Among her many accomplishments at A&M-SA, Dr. Teniente-Matson led the successful transformation to becoming a designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and a comprehensive four-year university, welcoming the University’s first freshman class in 2016. 

Dr. Teniente-Matson has more than 25 years of experience in higher education with a track record of achievement that supports campus growth, including faculty and student success, economic development, financial stewardship and broad-based entrepreneurial leadership. Her appointment as president of SJSU marks a return to the CSU for Dr. Teniente-Matson who previously served as vice president for administration and chief financial officer for California State University, Fresno from 2004 to 2015. Dr. Teniente-Matson was President of WACUBO during 2008-09. 

Dr. Teniente-Matson has been recognized for her leadership and service in the field of education, including receiving the Making a Mark on the World Innovation Award from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber and the Women’s Leadership Award from the San Antonio Business Journal. She is also a sought-after speaker and mentor on contemporary issues in higher education leadership. 

Dr. Teniente-Matson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, an MBA from the University of Alaska Anchorage and is a product of the CSU having earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Fresno State.

General Session | Wednesday, May 3 | 8:45 AM –9:45 AM
Eligible for 1 Business Management & Organization CPE Credits

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education 

Chancellor Gonzales will discuss current challenges in higher education including funding, enrollment, the value of education, and competition and changing job requirements as they relate to educational levels. The latter half of his presentation will explore ways that institutions of higher education can overcome these challenges.

  • Define various challenges facing higher education
  • Understand changing job requirements as they relate to educational levels
  • Identify potential solutions to challenges facing higher education

Dr. Steven Gonzales, Chancellor, Maricopa Community College

Dr. Steven R. Gonzales was appointed Chancellor for the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) in September 2022. Before his appointment as Chancellor, he was the  president of GateWay Community College, one of 10 MCCCD colleges. Prior to GateWay, he was the acting Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer for the Pinal County Community College District (operates as Central Arizona College). He is adjunct faculty for Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College graduate program and the Roueche Graduate Center’s Community College Leadership Program, Kansas State University doctoral program. Dr. Gonzales earned his doctorate in educational administration in the Community College Leadership Program from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a master of arts in teaching mathematics and Bachelor of Science in secondary education – mathematics from Northern Arizona University.