CORVALLIS, Ore. – Susana Rivera-Mills, a faculty member and administrator at Oregon State University, has been named OSU’s first vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies. She will begin her new duties on June 1.
Rivera-Mills is executive associate dean in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, and a professor of Spanish linguistics and diversity advancement. She has been on the OSU faculty since 2007.
“This is an important new leadership position at Oregon State and Susana has demonstrated that she is a highly skilled leader and collaborator who is passionate about providing access to higher education – and then helping students succeed upon coming to OSU,” said Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president.
This new position is designed to promote and improve undergraduate education and success at Oregon State, a critical element of the university’s Strategic Plan 3.0, with a particular emphasis on increasing and equalizing retention and graduation rates across all student populations.
Rivera-Mills will advance university strategies to improve student success, working in partnership with academic colleges and the divisions of Academic Affairs, International Programs and Student Affairs.
“This new position and Susana’s appointment present a key opportunity for campus partners – academic advisers, instructors, leaders in our cultural resource centers and many others – to come together and create holistic student success approaches that address the needs of our increasingly diverse students,” Randhawa said.
Rivera-Mills will coordinate development and enhancement of high-impact educational practices that elevate student success including experiential learning, first-year experience programs, proactive academic advising and the use of data analytics to inform decision-making. She also will oversee a suite of undergraduate academic support and engagement departments, including the Academic Success Center, the Writing Center, the Educational Opportunities Program and others.
Rivera-Mills has bachelor and master’s degrees in Spanish linguistics from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of New Mexico. Since coming to Oregon State, she has been active in developing mentoring and leadership programs for OSU students and faculty, advancing diversity at OSU and in higher education, and promoting equity, inclusion and internationalization.
She is the founder of the Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement (CL@SE), an engaged research center on the OSU campus, and has established numerous partnerships with community organizations statewide that serve Latino populations.
A sociolinguist, her research has focused on Latino communities, issues of identity, Spanish language and culture, and linguistic attitudes. She has published several books and numerous articles on related topics.