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UC Riverside Vice Chancellor for Administration Accepts a Post at Purdue

UC Riverside Vice Chancellor for Administration Accepts a Post at Purdue

Alphonso V. Diaz has been at UCR for three years, and will leave a multi-faceted legacy

(April 14, 2009)

Al Diaz has served UC Riverside for more than three yearsEnlarge

Al Diaz has served UC Riverside for more than three years

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – After three years at the University of California, Riverside, Vice Chancellor for Administration Alphonso V. Diaz has announced that he will accept “an opportunity of a lifetime” at Purdue University starting July 1.

He has been named the Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, Treasurer of Purdue, a position that has oversight of a $1.9 billion budget, as well as responsibility and oversight of all financial affairs and physical facilities for the multi-campus system, led by former UCR Chancellor France Córdova.

He said it is not only a professional opportunity, but he and his wife, Angela Phillips Diaz, are both excited about moving closer to family members. “I do regret the timing of my departure, the fact that I am leaving at a time of such serious challenge to the University due to the budget pressures. But this opportunity won’t wait. And I am confident that Tim White and his leadership team are up to the challenge. I wish them well.”

Chancellor White said he was surprised when Diaz told him about the opportunity, and disappointed when he realized he would not be able to convince Diaz to stay at UCR. “We will miss him,” said White.

“Al Diaz has served this campus with distinction and high integrity for three years. In my eight months here, he has emerged as a trusted and very capable member of UCR’s leadership team. His legacy will be multi-faceted, perhaps none more important than his deep commitment to the welfare of our employees. We will miss Al and Angela not only at UC Riverside but also as visible and welcomed members of our larger community. We wish him all the best in this challenging new assignment at Purdue University.”

White said that he will confer with campus leadership and members of the division of administration and appoint an acting vice chancellor before Diaz departs. “We will maintain the continuity of the campus and business services provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration,” White said.

Diaz, an engineer, scientist and administrator at NASA for 40 years, worked on projects such as the Viking exploration of Mars and the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as management of multi-billion dollar budgets. Diaz said Purdue has produced more than 20 NASA astronauts. “I feel a real cultural affinity to Purdue as an institution. I am honored that they feel that I can make a contribution.”

At UCR, Diaz was in charge of employees in housing and dining, physical plant; human resources, financial services, design and construction, the child development center, police services, material management, the bookstore, environmental health and safety; transportation and parking services, accounting/payroll, fleet, mail services, printing and the division's technology services.

Major accomplishments during his tenure include the reorganization of the administrative unit, including the hiring of a campus architect, the introduction of UCR’s first upscale dining venue at the Alumni and Visitor’s Center, acquiring new systems and procedures for emergency management on campus, and leadership in a campus climate improvement effort.

He also engaged with the community, completing a yearlong “Leadership Riverside” program. “UC Riverside has provided an extraordinary experience for Angela and me,” he said. “The people in the community have taken us in as part of their extended family. We have made friends here that I hope will be lifelong friends and will welcome us back and will come to visit us in Indiana.”

Angela Phillips Diaz is finishing a two-year term as an advisor to the chancellor’s office on educational outreach issues.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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