New President expresses his commitment to CRC


Courtesy Photo

Dr. Edward Bush became the college president on July 1. Bush says he brings a strong commitment to students who have been “historically marginalized in society” and economically disadvantaged.

Cosumnes River College welcomed Dr. Edward Bush as college president on July 1.

During a speech to faculty and staff in CRC’s Recital Hall on Aug. 21, Bush, 42, addressed his colleagues for the first time. He emphasized working towards higher rates of student success and a desire to make CRC “the preeminent college in the nation.”

Vice president of Instruction and Student Learning Whitney Yamamura served as interim president after former CRC President Deborah Travis retired in December, and he described Bush as intelligent and committed.

“Every candidate can say they believe in our core values, but you can tell those aren’t just words for him,” Yamamura said.

Bush previously worked as the vice president of student services at Riverside City College, and has been a college administrator for nearly 17 years.

He said he carries a commitment to students as his top priority and to uplift those who have been “historically marginalized in society” and economically disadvantaged. Bush said he also wants to improve on current educational structures for all students including those who are more well off.

“I’m a student advocate,” Bush said. “Although I’ve been president for two months, that’s really been my job for 20 years. My position is just a different role I play.”

It was his time as an undergraduate at University of California, Riverside that Bush said he began to see that perspective take shape, but there were obstacles beforehand.

At the beginning of his sophomore year, he was placed on academic probation for failing to maintain a 2.0 GPA. After a letter was sent to his home, and knowing that his mother found out, Bush recalled this time as a “wake-up call.”

“I remember feeling horrible,” Bush said. “Just knowing that my mother was disappointed was enough.”

With the advice of his older brother, Bush dedicated an extra two hours after class each day to study. By the next semester, he went from failing to meet academic requirements, to the dean’s list with a 3.6 GPA.

Bush would go on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UC Riverside, later a Master of Arts in public administration from California State University, San Bernardino and a Ph.D. in Urban Educational Leadership from Claremont Graduate University.

“What I’ve been exposed to, those experiences have shaped me to be strong,” Bush said. “Resilience will allow me to get through any situation that I face.”

Bush grew up in a tough neighborhood in Pomona, Calif. that he identified as “ghost town.”

Bush said his father, a head football coach who later transitioned into a high school administration, and his mother, a substitute teacher turned stay-at-home mom, maintained a strict household as strong disciplinarians with clear expectations for Bush and his three other siblings.

Because many of his friends did not have that same stability at home, he said his home became somewhat of a safe haven to those in need with his father acting as a surrogate parent.

“When I reflect back on it, I knew I wanted to do something with my life that would impact those who represent who my friends were,” Bush said.

With CRC’s recent expansion and growth, including the new light rail station, many say that Bush is poised to help the campus grow further.

“I think Dr. Bush is the right man at the right time,” said Dr. BJ Snowden, a radio, television and film professor. “He’s who we need now.”