James M. Rosser served as President of California State University, Los Angeles from 1979-2013 and was named President Emeritus by the CSU Board of Trustees upon his retirement. Dr. Rosser earned academic degrees in Health Education and Microbiology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (Ph.D. 1969, M.A. 1963, B.A. 1962), where he also served as a faculty member, Assistant to the Chancellor, and Founding Director of the Black American Studies Program. Prior to his appointment at Cal State L.A., Dr. Rosser served as Vice Chancellor of the State of New Jersey Department of Higher Education (and as Acting Chancellor in 1977). He also served as a member of the State of New Jersey Board of Medial Examiners. Formerly, he was a tenured faculty member and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Kansas, where he also served as a member and Vice Chair of the Editorial Board of the University Press of Kansas.
Dr. Rosser served on the boards of many national, state and local organizations, including the Los Angeles Urban League, the California Community Foundation, the California Community Foundation Land Trust, the Fedco Foundation Board, Community Television of Southern California (KCET), the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Board of Trustees, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, the National Board of Governors of the American Red Cross, Americans for the Arts, and the Los Angeles County Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools. Professional board affiliations have included the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Edison International Corporation, and United California Bank.
Dr. Rosser served as a member of the California Council on Science and Technology, the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Congressional Caucus for Science and Technology, and several National Science Foundation and National Academy of Engineering task forces, panels and forums. He also served on the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council on Aging, the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee, which he also chaired, the National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable Council, and the CSU Presidents’ Commission for CSUPERB – the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology. Dr. Rosser has published works on health issues and the health profession and has also written or edited a wide variety of works in the field of Higher Education Administration
He received numerous awards, including the 2014 John Hope Franklin Award from DIVERSITY ISSUES IN HIGHER EDUCATION, the 2012 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, the 2008 Frank W. Hale Jr. Diversity Leadership Award from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the President’s Award for Diversity from ABET. In 2003, SIU awarded him an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters. In 2005, Pepperdine University awarded him an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws and he was named adistinguished member of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi. He was an Aspen Scholar for the 1995 Aspen Institute’s Executive Seminar, and in the same year received the National Science Foundation’s Educator Achievement Award.