Suzuki was appointed President of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1991. He retired in June 2003, after twelve years of service. He received his B.S. and M.S. degree from UC Berkeley, where he majored in mechanical engineering, and from 1961 to 1963, he worked as a research engineer for the Boeing Company. In 1963, he returned to graduate school at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and earned his doctorate there in 1967.
Suzuki is deeply involved in civil rights and public and community affairs. He has published and presented numerous papers and lectured extensively on multicultural/international education, educational equity, and on Asian Americans. He has been a member of the National Science Board and the California Student Aid Commission. He has been honored for his contributions in the areas of community service, education and human/civil rights. In March 2001, he was presented with the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership’s First Annual Technology Leadership Award for his leadership in high tech economic development initiatives. One of his most distinguished honors was his selection as the first recipient of the Human Rights Award for Leadership in Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, which was presented to him by the National Education Association at its annual convention in 1976.