Office of the President

Appointment of Christina M. Gonzales as Vice President for Student Affairs

April 20, 2020

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Christina M. Gonzales as Vice President for Student Affairs following a national search. She will begin her new duties at Cal Poly Pomona effective July 1, 2020.

As head of the Division of Student Affairs and Cal Poly Pomona’s Chief Student Affairs Officer, Ms. Gonzales will provide strategic management of our holistic approach to student success and play a key leadership role in setting and enacting the University programs and priorities aimed at meeting the goals of our Strategic Plan and the CSU-wide Graduation Initiative 2025. She will be an advocate for our students on and off campus and work across all divisions and units of the university to enhance the transformational student experience that is a hallmark of Cal Poly Pomona.

Ms. Gonzales has been a transformative leader in higher education for the last 20 years and has deep experience working and leading in all functional areas in student affairs. She comes to Cal Poly Pomona most recently from the University of Colorado’s flagship campus in Boulder, where she served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and a member of the Chancellor’s Executive Team. In this role, Ms. Gonzales served a population of 35,000 students and oversaw a division with 1,200 staff, 2,500 student employees, and an annual budget of approximately $220 million. Among her many notable achievements as Vice Chancellor at CU Boulder, she was successful in creating a culture of continual improvement focused on holistic student support, aligning the work of the division with the university’s strategic imperatives, and creating more efficient units that partnered effectively with faculty and staff across the campus to enhance the student experience. Under her leadership, the university received national attention for its transition to an online orientation model, and within the university her team developed a strong reputation for advancing a collaborative and student-centered approach to serving the campus through a variety of means, including improvements to providing students with a unified and streamlined digital experience. Working with CU Boulder faculty, she brought timely research to bear to improve their health and wellness services and programs. In addition, she spearheaded innovative data-driven planning to support student retention and partnered with advancement in leading significant fundraising efforts resulting in millions of dollars to support health and wellness initiatives and student veterans. Prior to working at the University of Colorado, Ms. Gonzales held senior leadership positions in student affairs at the University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State University.

Across the breadth of her professional roles, Ms. Gonzales has demonstrated that she is a champion of innovative collaborations between academic and student affairs – collaboration that will remain the core of our student success efforts at Cal Poly Pomona. Her experience advocating for diverse college students in a variety of institutional types — from the community college and small and large public institutions to adult re-entry programs — brings a keen appreciation for the population of students that we serve, and her record of advocating for students who have not been a part of the majority voice reflects a strong alignment with our institutional value of inclusivity.       

As a reflection of her campus leadership and commitment to the profession, Ms. Gonzales has been actively engaged in student affairs at the national level serving on various committees and boards of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Association of American Universities. Ms. Gonzales holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Western New Mexico University and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Management & Development from New Mexico State University.

On behalf of the entire campus community I thank Eileen Sullivan for diligently serving as interim vice president since last July. I also want to thank the members of the search committee listed below for their service:

Terri Gomez, Associate Vice President for Student Success (Chair)
Pasindu Senaratne, ASI President
Hyungchul Han, Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture
Juanita Jellyman, College of Science
Elif Ozkaya, College of Business Administration
Hanna Lee, Counseling and Psychological Services
Phyllis Nelson, College of Engineering
Michael Page, College of Science
Tari Hunter, Director, Office of Student Life & Cultural Centers
Leticia Gutierrez-Lopez, Associate Vice President for Student Health & Wellbeing
Jason Lu, Business Processes and Technology Specialist
Saccara Lim, Executive Assistant, Office of the President

This is a critical moment for our campus and for higher education in California and the nation. The coronavirus pandemic is requiring us to fulfill our academic mission and operate the university in non-traditional ways and in extraordinary circumstances. Ms. Gonzales is joining our campus at this consequential time that will require courage, ingenuity, and perseverance from our entire community. I am thrilled that we have been able to recruit her to Cal Poly Pomona and I ask you to please join with me in welcoming Ms. Gonzales and in continuing our collaborative efforts to fulfil our mission and vision as a university.