Dr. Héctor Luis Díaz comes to Western Michigan University from the University of Texas - Pan American College of Health Science and Human Services, where he has served as professor and chair of the Department of Social Work since 2006. A native of Puerto Rico, he moved to the United States mainland in 1979 and lived for several years in Cleveland, where he earned a master’s degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University. He earned a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago after having been a social work practitioner, supervisor and administrator for 15 years.
Dr. Díaz entered academia in 1992 and was part of the graduate faculties of Andrews University, Loma Linda University, and the University of Texas at Arlington prior to taking the leadership of the social work program at the University of Texas - Pan American. His accomplishments as department chair include: obtaining reaccreditation for the department’s B.S.W. and M.S.W. programs, creating a distance education program which makes it possible to deliver the social work degree programs to two underserved Texas border cities, and creating a master’s concentration in administrative and community practice.
In addition to his administrative duties at University of Texas - Pan American, he served as president and secretary of the Texas Association of Social Work Deans and Directors, chair of the University of Texas - Pan American Council of Department Chairs, and treasurer of the Association of Latina and Latino Social Work Educators. He has published and presented widely in the areas of socio-economic development, social welfare policy, cultural issues, and international social work education. His publications include two books: "Strengthening Democracy through Community Capacity Building: A Study of Four Latin American Countries" and "Alcohol Abuse and Acculturation among Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Sociological Study." He has been a member of the editorial board of the refereed journal Social Perspectives and was the recipient of three University of Texas - Pan American university-wide research awards in 2006, 2009 and 2010