Carlos E. Cruz

2024-25 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Carlos E. Cruz is a higher education leader with over 15 years of experience. His background encompasses leadership and management in student affairs, learning development, grant programs, operations, strategic planning, and community partnerships. As a first-generation college student and graduate, he is dedicated to advocating for those who have been historically marginalized and underserved by fostering the importance of higher education.

As the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Wellbeing and Social Support at Dallas College, Dr. Cruz oversees the offices of Student Care Coordination, Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services and Promotion, and Basic Needs and Community Connections departments at Dallas College and facilitates partnerships between Dallas College, four-year institutions, employers, non-profit organizations, and community partners.

Dr. Cruz began his higher education career with foundations in college access and student affairs in the San Antonio area, working for Project STAY, one of the oldest community-based TRIO programs in the country. Before joining the Dallas College community, Cruz served as the Dean of Student Success at Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Colleges. Cruz has held various administrative positions spanning the spectrum of student affairs in higher education.

Dr. Cruz holds a Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Southern Methodist University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Cruz is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations in the city. He is a board member for the SMU Latino Alumni and Communities in Schools of the Dallas Region. He was born and raised in San Antonio, TX, and is married to Adriana Cruz, his wife of 12 years.