William A. Covino joined California State University, Los Angeles as its seventh president in September 2013. As the Chief Executive Officer of Cal State L.A., President Covino leads the University’s multifaceted efforts to pursue the three major priorities of the Strategic Plan: Student Success, Engagement, and Collaboration. These priorities encompass all aspects and areas of the University: academics, facilities, budget and finance, student life, athletics, fundraising, and external relations.
Covino joined Cal State L.A. following a four-year term as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Fresno State. There, he served as the chief academic officer, providing leadership for the University’s eight schools and colleges, grants and research, the library, continuing and global education, and other academic units of the university. In 2013, President Covino won the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement.
Prior to Fresno State, Covino served as provost at California State University, Stanislaus and as dean of the Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University. He has also held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Chicago and San Diego State University.
Over his four-decade career, Covino’s scholarly accomplishments and specializations have included the history and theory of rhetoric, persuasion, imagination, and literacy. He has authored five books and 37 refereed articles or chapters. In addition, he has delivered more than 60 papers and presentations at local, statewide and national conferences.
A first-generation college student, Covino earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds master’s degrees from California State University, Northridge and the University of Southern California, and earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California in 1981.