Vice Provost Introduces Post-Election Forums
Dr. Octavio Villalpando plans to address political issues brought on by the new presidential administration.
February 10, 2017
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On Jan. 8, Dr. Octavio Villalpando joined the Cal State LA community as the Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning – the first to serve in this new position – and Chief Diversity Officer for Academic and Student Life. Having been a part of forming the minority business program at Cal State University, Northridge in his undergraduate years and holding administrative positions such as the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Utah, Villalpando is deeply committed to upholding diversity throughout his education and career.
Villalpando grew up in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles before moving to Burbank in his teenage years. He obtained a BA in sociology and later acquired two Master degrees in higher education, from CSUN and UCLA, and a doctorate degree from UCLA.
“I was a first generation student myself and I attended Cal State Northridge so I think my experience reflects a lot of what Cal State LA students have experienced, prior to getting to college and during college, so in that respect, it’s one of the appealing factors that spoke to me about this position,” said Dr. Villalpando.
Dr. Villalpando believes that the school and its students and faculty are already great, and seeks to improve the institution by strengthening goals outlined in the school’s Strategic Plan.
Some of his goals for the university include building campus resources, helping students graduate within a timeframe, and strengthening community engagement.
“What makes Cal State LA exciting is that, as an institution, a majority of students here are students of color – they are first generation students so helping to devote attention to help this student population graduate in a short period of time and with the kind of skills that they need to contribute to society are very important goals,” he said.
Dr. Villalpando, who began serving in his positions last month, is already spearheading into action with the school’s commitment to diversity with a new series of forums called Democracy in Action in which faculty speakers will present on the broad political topics that have emerged from the new presidency.
The first forum, The Powers of the President: Executive Orders, Laws, and the Constitution, begins Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 12p.m. in Golden Eagle Ballroom 2. Dr. Scott Bowman, Associate Vice President for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities, and Professor of Political Science, and Dr. Martin Adamian, Associate Director of the Honors College, and Professor of Political Science, will be leading the discussion. Other upcoming forums will explore the issues of immigration policy, fake news, First Amendment freedoms, and movements.
“As a community of learners, educators and scholars, we join colleagues across the CSU and the country as we re-examine the meaning of American Democracy in this new political era,” reads a university-wide e-mail regarding the forums.