Division of Student Affairs to realign units to expand and enhance student services

administration building

The CSU Division of Student Affairs, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the Provost, will be realigning several units this fall.

The moves have been announced to the division and are both strategic for the institution as CSU continues the Courageous Strategic Transformation process and — most importantly — are good for students.

The Student Diversity Programs and Services offices, which report to Assistant Vice President Kathy Sisneros, will shift and report to the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, under new Vice President Kauline Cipriani. Sisneros will also report to the VPDI and continue to oversee these offices, which include the Black/African American Cultural Center, the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center, the Native American Cultural Center, the Student Disability Center, the Pride Resource Center, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center and El Centro.

“Our SDPS offices are powerful resources for many of our students,” said Blanche Hughes, Vice President for Student Affairs, adding that the offices will continue to work closely with her division. “This is a transformative time in our history as we continue to center diversity, inclusion and justice at CSU, and this move will elevate this vision for faculty, staff and students. With a home in the VPDI and under Kauline’s amazing leadership, our talented SDPS staff members will have access to more targeted resources so they can better serve students.”

Cipriani, who began her work in diversity, equity and inclusion working directly with students, shares Hughes’ excitement about bringing the SDPS offices into the VPDI.

“I am looking forward to serving the entire CSU community in my role and also committed to collaborating with other foundational areas of the university, including Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Research and Engagement,” she said. “Having our student diversity programs directly in our office will let us truly maximize the potential for partnering and working together on behalf of our students.”

Other units in DSA that will be realigned include components of two areas that focus on student success: the Collaborative for Student Achievement, headed by Gaye DiGregorio, and the student success initiatives led by Ryan Barone. The student success programs of both units, as well as DiGregorio and Barone, will become part of the Provost’s Office.

“We have built incredibly strong networks of resources for student success in the DSA, and I am so proud of our teams,” Hughes said. “As we move forward, aligning these success-focused offices under the provost will allow for more effective collaboration with faculty and academic advisors, which will produce tremendous and tangible benefits to our students.”

Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen, who was recently charged with leading student success efforts that the Board of Governors has funded for the next three fiscal years, said that this move is a fulfillment of CSU’s commitment to its students.

“Student success initiatives that lead to successful graduates are critical for CSU, and they are what we promise our students when they join us in their first year,” she said. “Having all of our student success work aligned under the academic umbrella of the institution allows us to better collaborate and enhance our already effective programs to produce demonstrable results — and successful graduates.”

The full details of the restructure are still being worked out, but Hughes, Cipriani and Pedersen have met with the affected units and staff members over the past few days to express their excitement about the realignments and respond to questions and concerns. In addition to the reorganization, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion will be undergoing a name change to reflect the framework of Inclusive Excellence work. More information will be shared with the university community as it is available.