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LEAD San Diego Honors Chancellor Lee with 2004 Visionary Award for Diversity

June 9, 2004

La Jolla, Calif. – National University System Chancellor and National University President Dr. Jerry C. Lee has been named a recipient of the 2004 Visionary Award, in the category of diversity. The Visionary Awards are presented by LEAD San Diego, Inc., an organization that promotes and fosters community leadership.  

Chancellor Lee was recognized for his continuous leadership in making higher education more accessible to a diverse group of San Diegans and Californians.  Under Chancellor Lee’s tenure, National University has consistently ranked in the top 20 among more than 3,000 colleges and universities in awarding master’s degrees to all minorities in all disciplines.

National University currently ranks first in California in conferring master’s degrees in all disciplines combined to African Americans and Hispanics. It also leads the state in conferring master’s degrees in engineering, computer and information science to Hispanics; and is first in California in conferring master’s degrees in education to African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans.

LEAD San Diego presented Dr. Lee with his Visionary Award on June 7 during a recognition banquet at The Omni San Diego. Other 2004 LEAD San Diego Award winners include Mel Katz, CEO of Manpower; Ken Druck, founding executive director of the Jenna Druck Foundation; Constance Carroll, chancellor designate of the San Diego Community College District; Casey Gwinn, San Diego city attorney; Edwin A. Guiles, chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Co.; Tom Carter, president of Carter Reese & Associates; and Eugenio Elorduy Walther, Governor of Baja California.

Dr. Lee is among California’s longest-serving active university presidents, leading for 14 years what is now the state’s second-largest private nonprofit university.  The presidency of a large university is widely considered to be the most demanding job in higher education, requiring the combined skills of a successful scholar, administrator, statesman and business person. 

Few others have matched Dr. Lee’s long-term success.  In fact, the average tenure of a university president at a major institution is less than six years, according to the American Council on Education.  During Dr. Lee’s tenure, National University has become recognized as one of the best-run institutions of higher education in America.  In the past two years in particular, the University gained several noteworthy accolades, including two consecutive Eureka Awards for performance excellence from the California Council for Excellence.

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