Dr. Octavio Villalpando is Cal State LA's first vice provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning and the University’s Chief Diversity Officer for Academic and Student Life. Prior to joining Cal State LA, he was a faculty member for seventeen years and a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah. He has extensive experience in diversity and inclusive excellence initiatives and formerly served as Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity at the University of Utah from 2007-2014.
As the University of Utah’s chief diversity officer, he shaped institutional policies and practices related to gender, racial, ethnic, and sexual equity and diversity. He had oversight responsibilities for the University’s faculty recruitment and appointment processes and served as de-facto dean for Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies. He supervised the LGBT resource center, the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, the American Indian Resource Center Undergraduate Diversity Scholarships and Grants, Early Student Outreach, Transfer Student Outreach, and other related student support services for underrepresented students.
Dr. Villalpando has a wealth of academic experience, including advising students and teaching courses in the areas of critical race theory and diversity and equity in higher education. Over the last decade, the University of Utah’s College of Education recognized his scholarly contributions by awarding him the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award and the Outstanding Faculty Research Award.
Dr. Villalpando received his Ph.D. and second master’s degrees in higher education at UCLA, where he also conducted research in the nationally-renowned Higher Education Research Institute. Prior to attending UCLA, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Social Foundations of Education at California State University, Northridge.