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Dr. William Flores

Dr. William Flores

Dr. William Flores

Professor of Political ScienceSocial Sciences


Dr. Bill Flores current serves as Professor of Political Science and Social Sciences at the University of Houston-Downtown where he currently teaches. Dr. Flores current serves as Director of the UHD Graduate Program in Nonprofit Management. He served as Provost/CEO and Associate Vice Chancellor at Antioch University in Santa Barbara where he added new degrees and concentrations, signed articulation and transfer agreements with community colleges, and expanded pathways for working adults. He served as President of the University of Houston-Downtown from 2009-2016. At UHD, Dr. Flores grew the institution's student enrollment by nearly 3,000 students (to 14,500 students) over 70% of which are Latino and African American. He established a second campus in Northern Houston with over 2,000 students, added master's degrees, and won national recognition for the university. Under Flores' leadership UHD established an AACSB-accredited MBA which grew to be the largest in the region with more than 1100 students. UHD graduates have the third highest starting salary in the state of Texas. Washington Monthly ranked UHD this past year as the top university in Houston for its economic boost and return on investment. In 2012, UHD earned the President's Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction (one of only two institutions in Texas to earn that distinction) and in 2015 earned the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement in two categories (one of only five institutions in Texas to earn that honor).

Prior to his presidency at UHD, Flores served as Deputy Secretary for Higher Education under Governor Bill Richardson who termed Dr. Flores as "an outstanding leader in education for the state and the country." In 2009, Dr. Flores was named as one of the Top 100 Hispanics in America and in the Top Ten in Education. He has served as Executive Vice President and Provost, and as Interim President, at New Mexico State University, as Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cal State Northridge, and as associate dean at Cal State Fresno. He served as associate director of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research at Stanford University. Flores has testified before a Special Congressional Hearing on Immigration and before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on Financial Aid and Access and Opportunity. He participated in the White House Hispanic Serving Institutions Summit and Briefing, and he regularly writes on such topics as immigration policy, higher education, health care, civic engagement, and criminal justice. Honored by former President George H.W. Bush as a 'Point of Light,' he currently serves as co-chair of the Higher Education Track for Points of Light.

Flores served as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, which represents nearly 471 Colleges and Universities and 22 Hispanic-Serving School Districts, which together account for nearly two-thirds of all Latinos who receive college degrees in America. Dr. Flores earned his Bachelor of Arts at UCLA in Political Science, his M.A. in Political Science and his Ph.D. in Social Theory and Public Policy from Stanford University. He was a Ford Fellow, ACE Fellow, Rockefeller Senior Fellow in the Humanities, and a Spencer Fellow. He has served on over 100 boards and commissions and has received awards from the California Attorney General and the California Legislature, the Governor of New Mexico, and the Texas Senate. He is co-author of Latino Citizenship: Claiming Space, Identity, and Rights and regularly writes on public policy issues, particularly immigration, health care, and higher education. He is currently working on a book on the Civic Purpose of Higher Education.

Flores speaks nationally on higher education, Latino voting behavior, health care, and immigration. He is co-editor of Democracy, Civic Engagement, and Citizenship in Higher Education: Reclaiming Our Civic Purpose. He is married to Dr. Noël Bezette-Flores and lives in Houston with his family.

Degrees Earned

B.A. Political Science, UCLA
M.S. Political Science, Stanford University
Ph. D. Social Theory and Public Policy, Stanford University (1987)

Courses Taught

  • Federal Government (POLS 2305)
  • Introduction to Public Administration (POLS 3301)
  • Environmental Politics and Policy (POLS 4321)
  • Grant and Resource Development (SOS 631)
  • Strategic Planning and Leadership (BUS 6331)
  • Internship Project: POLS 6880

More Information

Dr. Flores is a nationally recognized leader in higher education policy and has served on boards and commissions of 100 organizations. He writes and presents on civic engagement and democracy, Latino voting, Texas government, immigration, environmental, and health care policy, and consults with nonprofits and higher education institutions on strategic planning, fundraising and resource development, and organizational change.