February 5, 2016
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of a dear friend and colleague, Dr. Juan Francisco Lara, emeritus assistant vice chancellor of Enrollment Services. He passed away peacefully on February 4, 2016.
For those that knew Dr. Lara, he was a gem to the University of California with 18 years of service at UCLA followed by 17 years at UCI. At UCLA, he held positions of Dean; Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for the UCLA Graduate School of Education; Assistant Provost, College of Letters and Science; EOP and Academic Advancement Program Director and Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and he created a Center for Academic Programs that provided academic professional development for K-12 and community college teachers.
As Assistant Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Services at UC Irvine, he was the founding executive director of the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships. He served on the Compton, Santa Ana and Pasadena Community College Foundation Boards, and was Chair of the Orange County United Way Education Impact Council. He was a founding board member for the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF), Sage Hill School, and the El Sol Science and Arts Academy. Dr. Lara was instrumental in the success of the Santa Ana Partnership, a national model for educational collaboration among Santa Ana College, UCI, Cal State Fullerton and Santa Ana Unified School District.
He retired in 2007 but not before leaving an indelible impact on faculty, staff, students, and the community. Having worked with him for many years, I knew Juan to be warm, kind, strong, compassionate and intensely committed to the development of students and new professionals. He was not only a mentor to those of us that work in education, but a fierce advocate for access for all students to the University of California. His career and legacy has opened doors for many to take advantage of the academic and co-curricular experiences only offered in the university. He is irreplaceable and will be missed dearly.
Information on a public memorial is forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions to be made to the UCI Dr. Juan Francisco Lara Endowed Scholarship at www.uadv.uci.edu/egiving.
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D.