November 9, 2021

Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson Elected Chair of AASCU Board of Directors

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla., November 9, 2021 – Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio since 2015, assumed the chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Board of Directors during the association’s annual meeting, which concluded today in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

A San Antonio native, Teniente-Matson has more than 30 years of higher education experience in Alaska, California, and Texas. In 2016, she oversaw Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s transformation from upper division to a comprehensive master’s university, in addition to achieving the U.S. Department of Education Hispanic Serving Institution designation. Under her leadership, the university has developed strategic initiatives to improve and enhance student learning and degree attainment, especially for first-generation students.

“I am honored to serve as the next chair of AASCU’s Board of Directors and to work with the nearly 400 AASCU member universities and colleges,” said Teniente-Matson. “Together we work to raise awareness and continue to champion public policy. Our collective impact enables the economic mobility of the communities we serve through student access and success while identifying collaborative solutions for the challenges of our day.”

“We are thrilled that Cynthia Teniente-Matson will be leading AASCU’s board of directors,” said AASCU President Mildred García. “Her broad experience in higher education administration, as well as her commitment to issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, will be an asset to AASCU’s efforts to expand student access, success and opportunity.”

A 2014 graduate of AASCU’s Executive Leadership Academy, Teniente-Matson previously served as treasurer of AASCU’s Board of Directors. She earned a B.A. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, an M.B.A. from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and an Ed.D. from Fresno State University.

During AASCU’s 2021 Annual Meeting, the board elected Heidi M. Anderson, president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), as chair-elect of the board. She will serve as chair in 2023.

A first-generation college graduate, Anderson became the 16th president of UMES – a historically Black, doctoral granting land-grant institution founded in 1886 – in September 2018.

Under Anderson’s leadership, UMES’ six-year graduation rate has increased to a level higher than in the past 20 years, and the university has experienced record-breaking research funding and philanthropic efforts. Her focus on enrollment growth have led to efforts such as the addition a physician assistant master’s degree program and bachelor’s degree programs in sports management and digital media studies. Construction of a $95 million academic building for the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions is underway.

Prior to joining UMES, Anderson held administrative roles at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the University of the Sciences (Philadelphia), and the University of Kentucky. A native of Gary, Ind., Anderson earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

The following presidents and chancellors will serve on the AASCU Board of Directors in 2022:

Past Chair: 

  • Charles L. Welch, president, Arkansas State University System

Newly elected directors include:

  • Karrie G. Dixon, chancellor, Elizabeth City State University (N.C.)
  • Berenecea Johnson Eanes, president, City University of New York, York College
  • Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, president, Oakland University (Mich.)
  • José Luis Cruz Rivera, president, Northern Arizona University
  • Zulma R. Toro, president, Central Connecticut State University
  • Alisa White, president, Sam Houston State University (Texas)

Those continuing their terms as members of AASCU’s board:

  • Emily Cutrer, president, Texas A&M University-Texarkana
  • Kristin Esterberg, chancellor, University of Washington Bothell
  • Richard J. Helldobler, president, William Paterson University (N.J.)
  • Brian O. Hemphill, president, Old Dominion University (Va.)
  • Timothy Mottet, president, Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Eduardo M. Ochoa, president, California State University-Monterey Bay
  • Ronald S. Rochon, president, University of Southern Indiana
  • Rodney D. Smith, president, University of The Bahamas
  • Ashish Vaidya, president, Northern Kentucky University


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at