Division of Student Affairs

About the Vice President

Eileen G. SullivanEileen G. Sullivan, Ph.D. - Interim Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Eileen G. Sullivan has over 25 years of experience in higher education administration, including serving 16 years in professional roles at the President’s Cabinet level at both public and private universities. Her senior level experience includes serving as a Principal Advisor to the President of a Public University of 20,000 students and a Senior Student Affairs Officer at 3 different universities, overseeing a combined total of 20 student affairs functional areas.  Her service to Cal Poly Pomona began in October of 2018 as Interim Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and since July of 2019, has continued as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs.  Prior to coming to California, she served as Vice Provost for Student Affairs at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where she supported 25,000 students, had oversight for a division of 180 employees and a budget of $64 million.  Previously, Dr. Sullivan served as Dean of Students at Elmhurst College where she was the Senior Student Affairs Officer and Title IX Coordinator with oversight for the Division of Student Affairs, Athletics and institutional retention efforts. Past leadership roles include Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Life at Northern Illinois University, Vice President for Student Development of Loras College, and the Chief of Staff/Principal Advisor to the President of Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Her service to the higher education community is seen in her involvement and leadership in a number of professional associations, including: the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the National Association for Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPAHE), the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), LeaderShape, Inc., ACT Enrollment Planners Group, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), Association of College Unions International (ACUI), and the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Life Advisors (AFA).  Sullivan’s research interests include legal issues in higher education, values and ethics, civic learning and democratic engagement, sexual assault and gender violence prevention, first-year experience, retention, and working with students with invisible diagnosis and disabilities. She has presented on these topics and others at a number of national higher education association meetings and some of her work has been published in New Directions for Student Services, the NASAP Journal, Education Law, the Journal of College and Character, NetResults(the on-line magazine of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators), Diversity and Democracy(a publication of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and About Campus Magazine (a publication of the American College Personnel Association). 

As a scholar practitioner, Dr. Sullivan has served on the faculty at two institutions, having taught in the Masters of Leadership Studies program at North Central College and the Doctoral Program in Higher Education and Organizational Change at Benedictine University.  She has chaired the dissertation committees of students whose studies focused on: Experiences of Latina Doctoral Students in Higher Education; African American mothers working in student affairs, and; stigma consciousness among African American men and women persisting to the second year at predominantly white institutions.

Dr. Sullivan received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University, where her parents spent the bulk of their academic careers as faculty members, and where she began her career in the activities area serving as Assistant Director for Student Life/Greek Affairs. She received her Ph.D. in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University (in Ohio), where she was appointed by the Ohio Governor to a two year term as a graduate student trustee. She is a graduate of the Harvard Institute of Educational Management, and the Stanford Higher Education Executive Leadership Management Institute. 

Sonja Sanders

Executive Assistant to the VPSA