Dr. Rishi Sriram, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in Baylor School of Education, was elected unanimously as a member of the Board of Trustees of Azusa Pacific University. Azusa officials spent six months vetting Sriram for the position, which was announced on May 29. Considered one of the top Christian colleges in the country, Azusa is a private, evangelical Christian university in Azusa, California. As an alumnus of the university, having earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Azusa in 2010, Sriram kept in contact with the university post-graduation, serving as a guest speaker at several events and even as a visiting professor for higher education classes.
Sriram said he was honored by the fact that he was even considered for the position, let alone appointed. His appointment began May 29.
“It’s not a role I ever thought I’d be considered for,” said Sriram. “The reason they approached me is because they wanted someone who believed in their mission and was also an expert in higher education.”
At Baylor, Sriram is the graduate program director for the Department of Educational Leadership. He teaches in the Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA) MSEd program and the Higher Education Studies & Leadership PhD program. He has previously served as associate chair for the department.
Sriram spent eight years as a higher education and student affairs administrator at Baylor before beginning his current role as a faculty member in 2010. As an administrator, he played a key role in the development of living-learning programs at Baylor, as well as the establishment of the faculty-in-residence program. Through that program, Sriram is faculty steward for Brooks Residential College, living in the residence hall with his family since 2013.
Azusa Pacific’s Board of Trustees currently consists of 22 people, and as the newest addition, Sriram understands the dedication required to fulfill his new role. He has travel plans to attend in-person board meetings at least three times a year and is stepping down from his current position on the executive board of the Residential College Society.
When considering the value of his new position and the roles he must leave behind to prioritize his duties, Sriram said he has no doubt that what he is doing will reap many benefits for the education field.
“Education is the greatest instrument we have for making the world a better place,” Sriram said.
Sriram completed his undergraduate (BA in English) and master’s (MSEd in HESA) degrees at Baylor. He considers it to be a dream come true to be able to serve two of the largest Christian higher education institutions in the United States, both of which influenced his own educational journey. As he continues to serve in more hands-on roles at Baylor, he is excited to be a part of the vision that Azusa develops at a strategic level. While serving both universities in different ways, Sriram believes that this is exactly where he is meant to be and that he is well prepared for these roles.
“To have an opportunity to be able to influence an institution at such a high level is an honor and a privilege,” Sriram said. “It allows me to have direct influence on how Christian higher education can help shape the world.”
— By Isabelle Perello
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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.