Topics: Administrative, Faculty

April 25, 2024

Dr. Jason Rivera, Ball State University

Dr. Jason Rivera, vice provost for student success and dean of University College at Ball State University, has been named among the distinguished participants of the AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education‘s Class of 2024-25.

The AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance offers a comprehensive six-month program designed to empower future higher education leaders through mentorship, peer networking, and immersive learning experiences. By equipping participants with the tools and strategies needed to navigate the complexities of modern academia, the institute aims to fortify the pipeline of qualified and diverse presidential candidates.

Dr. Rivera and his cohort of 21 leaders from institutions nationwide will convene in Washington, D.C., in September for an intensive symposium that will mark the beginning of a transformative journey in their higher education leadership.

“I am thrilled to have been selected for this prestigious professional development opportunity,” Dr. Rivera said. “The contemporary challenges facing higher education today demand strong and steady leadership because as new opportunities emerge, so too do new threats, resulting in shorter presidential tenures and higher stakes for those continuing to serve as leaders in the field.

“I especially welcome the opportunity to be mentored and to learn from national experts about building relationships with trustees and cultivating a leadership agenda that supports transformational change and student success.”

Since its inception, the AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education has proudly supported higher education leaders on their professional journeys. To date, more than 20 of its past participants have become presidents or chancellors of higher education institutions, and many other participants have successfully progressed on the pathway to the presidency with commendations and new positions.

“The office of the president is very different than it was a decade ago, and a fundamental recognition is that the leadership tools of the past are not the same that will work in the future,” said Jason Lane, co-director of the institute, referencing the considerable challenges—from enrollment retention to increasing political attacks—that currently face presidents and chancellors. “Now more than ever, our higher education leaders need support and training to be able to make difficult decisions and strategically guide their institutions through times of transformation.”

With over two decades of experience in the field of education, Dr. Rivera has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to equity and access in higher education. In his current role at Ball State, he spearheads initiatives to break down systemic barriers that hinder student achievement, particularly among Latino and African American students.

Before joining Ball State, Dr. Rivera held key leadership roles at institutions such as Rutgers University–Camden, Swarthmore College, and Montgomery College. His research on college completion for marginalized student populations has been recognized nationally, and his contributions to initiatives like Achieving the Dream’s Equity Toolkit have significantly impacted student success efforts in higher education.

Dr. Rivera earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in minority and urban education at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his master’s degree in elementary education at CUNY’s College of Staten Island, and his bachelor’s degree in history and political science at Manhattanville College.