Position Announcement

California State University, Los Angeles
College of Ethnic Studies
Founding Dean


California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) seeks an innovative and resourceful leader to serve as Founding Dean of the new College of Ethnic Studies. As only the second Ethnic Studies College in the country, we invite applications from individuals deeply knowledgeable about the history, evolution, and new directions for Ethnic Studies. Cal State LA’s history as home to the nation’s first Chicano Studies Department, second Pan-African Studies Department, and a growing Asian and Asian American Studies Department creates an opportunity to advance a new College of Ethnic Studies focused on developing a new generation of culturally-grounded and socially-engaged leaders.

Reporting to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and working in collaboration with faculty, students and staff, the Dean will provide dynamic and visionary leadership to build upon the strengths of the University and develop new opportunities to fulfill the University’s role as a national model of equity, diversity, inclusion and engagement. 

Cal State LA has developed a bold and ambitious vision for our University’s future and its pursuit of excellence as a regionally serving public university committed to educational access and excellence. The University seeks a dynamic and visionary leader and scholar who will build upon the existing strengths of the faculty in our Ethnic Studies Departments. The Founding Dean must have the resourcefulness and creative ability to harness the potential of the newly formed College of Ethnic Studies to further advance the University’s commitment to community engagement and the public good.

The Dean will initially provide academic and administrative leadership to three departments in the College of Ethnic Studies: Asian and Asian American Studies, Chicana(o) and Latina(o) Studies, and Pan-African Studies. The three Departments currently house three baccalaureate degree programs, three minors, two multiple subject credential programs, and two graduate degree programs, with a combined total of approximately 16 tenure track faculty and 40 lecturers, generating approximately 1,000 FTES. 

This is an exceptional opportunity for a dynamic and resourceful individual to lead a new College during an exciting time of change and renewal. The successful candidate will bring a commitment to student success and scholarship, a strategic vision to energize and support research and creative activities, and the ability to ensure administrative excellence as Cal State LA continues to be a destination campus and a dynamic force in the LA region.


Founded in 1947, Cal State LA is one of 23 campuses within the California State University system and offers over 60 undergraduate and 58 graduate degree programs led by award-winning faculty. Cal State LA’s dedication to access and excellence has been recognized nationally. Our success as an engine of change was recently confirmed in a study by The Equality of Opportunity Project that ranked Cal State LA #1 in the U.S. for the upward mobility of its graduates. The University is located in East Los Angeles, just minutes from downtown, adjacent to the San Gabriel Valley. This uniquely positions the University to foster strong cooperative relationships with alumni, community, business, scientific, educational, cultural, and government constituencies. 

Cal State LA’s 27,000 students and 235,000 alumni reflect the City and County’s dynamic mix of populations, with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds. As as a Hispanic-serving Institution (HSI), Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI), and Minority-serving institution, Cal State LA recognizes the transformative power of education and embraces its duty to identify and serve the needs of all of its students. The University has one of the most diverse student populations of any campus in the nation: more than 60% of our students identify as Latinx, over 14% as Asian/Asian American, almost 8% as White, and more than 4% as African American. 

Cal State LA has been recognized as one of the top 10 comprehensive universities in the country by Washington Monthly for contributions to the public good. This exceptional honor is based on Cal State LA's vital research produced by faculty and students, and dedication to community service. In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranked the University’s Engineering, Nursing, and Business programs as among the best in the nation; Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education features Cal State LA in its “Top 100” issue; and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing recognized the institution’s outstanding record in training tomorrow’s educators. The National Science Foundation recently recognized Cal State LA as the top supplier of Latinx science and engineering Ph.D. recipients in the continental United States. For more information about Cal State LA, visit: http://www.calstatela.edu/.


The Founding Dean will serve as the chief operating and academic officer of the College of Ethnic Studies and will be responsible for creating and sustaining an environment for developing a comprehensive, ambitious, and dynamic vision for the College’s future. Working with the Provost, Vice President for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and other officers of the University, the Dean participates in developing University policy and strategic planning and represents the College internally and in the larger community and region. To support the growth and success of the College, the Dean also seeks broad-based support from external agencies and plays a leadership role in fundraising and development for the College. Cal State LA is on an upward trajectory in pursuit of academic excellence, student success, research growth, and community service and the Dean must serve as a passionate advocate for these ideals—working in collaboration with College stakeholders to create a community-grounded vision for the College’s future.

In leading the College during this important period of institutional growth and transition, the new Dean will play a critical role in effectively bringing together the varied departments, articulating and implementing a College strategic plan, and guiding the College through the process of creating a scholarly and social justice identity, refining its academic culture of excellence, and strengthening external partnerships to advance research and community impact. The Dean will provide opportunities for its faculty to shape the culture and identity of their programs, create opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and student support.

The College is committed to reclaiming cultural knowledge and honoring the dignity of cultural expressions. Its values are grounded in a history of shared struggle and a collective destiny aimed at transforming ourselves, our local communities and the world around us for the better. The College principles are born out of the following key tenets that guide its vision: Critical Social Justice, Engagement, Empowerment/Self Determination, Cultural Sustainability, Critical Discourses, and Transnationality.

The successful Dean candidate will be an experienced academic administrator with the energy, interpersonal, and leadership skills necessary to achieve ambitious goals.

Required Qualifications:  

  • A distinguished record of research, scholarship, teaching, and service in Ethnic Studies, the interdisciplinary areas found in Ethnic Studies, or other closely related fields sufficient to merit appointment as a tenured, full professor in the College of Ethnic Studies.
  • An earned doctorate or equivalent in Ethnic Studies, the interdisciplinary areas of study found in Ethnic Studies or other closely related fields.
  • At least three years of progressive and successful experience as a seasoned educational leader with strong integrity, organizational and consensus-building skills, and the ability to inspire faculty, staff, and students in a culture of shared governance and transparency.
  • Financial acumen and proven abilities in academic budgeting and financial management.
  • Demonstrated ability to build multidisciplinary programs and foster external partnerships to create an outwardly looking educational environment for faculty and students.
  • A clear understanding of leading-edge methods and instructional technologies to support teaching and learning in a large, diverse urban public university.
  • Superior communication skills and the ability to articulate a compelling message to multiple diverse audiences.
  • A sustained history and evidence of dedication to student achievement and student success for a highly diverse, first-generation student population.
  • Experience in promoting faculty creativity in research, teaching, and service.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Demonstrated, successful experience as an educational leader supporting goals and objectives of the interdisciplinary areas of study found in Ethnic Studies.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide civic leadership and to successfully work with academic, community, and governmental organizations.
  • Experience in strategic planning and an ability to work collaboratively with faculty and academic leaders to identify the academic priorities of the new College.
  • Experience working in a unionized environment.
  • A commitment to and evidence of securing external support, fundraising, and grant-writing.


Cal State LA seeks to fill this position no later than July 1, 2021. The Search Committee has begun reviewing applications and will continue to accept them and nominations until the position is filled. However, for full consideration, applicants are encouraged to have complete applications submitted by November 1, 2020. Completed applications must include: a letter of application specifically addressing the minimum and preferred qualifications, a current curriculum vitae, and contact information for five current professional references. 

Applications and letters of nomination should be submitted by email to:

Storbeck Pimental and Associates logo

Emy Peña, Partner
Email: [email protected]
Refer to code “CALSTATELA-Ethnic Studies” 
in the subject line

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates
6512 Painter Avenue, Whittier, CA 90601

The person holding this position is considered a "mandated reporter" under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position. 

Cal State LA is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to achieving and supporting diversity among its faculty, students, and staff. Applications from women, ethnic minorities, and individuals with a strong record of mentoring students from underserved or underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. 

All qualified individuals will receive equal consideration without regard to economic status, race, ethnicity, color, religion, marital status, pregnancy, national origin or cultural background, political views, sex or sexual orientation, gender identification, age, disability, disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran status. 


Upon request, reasonable accommodation will be provided to individuals with protected disabilities to (a) complete the employment process and (b) perform essential job functions when this does not cause undue hardship.