After a nationwide search and a rigorous selection process, CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) President Erika D. Beck, Ph.D. has named Mitch Avila, Ph.D. as the University’s new provost.
With an academic career that spans nearly three decades, Avila is currently the Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities at California State University Dominguez Hills.
“Dr. Avila has extensive academic, administrative, leadership and CSU experience and his lifelong work focus on diversity, equity and inclusion are in direct alignment with the foundational values of our campus community,” Beck said.
Avila, who holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara, said he could not be more pleased to work with the faculty and staff at CSUCI to continue to positively impact the region.
“What an exciting opportunity to collaborate with these talented individuals under the inspiring leadership of President Beck,” Avila said. “The commitment and dedication of the campus community to its core mission of educating students and creating opportunities for economic mobility is truly impressive, as is the resilience of the faculty and staff during these difficult times. The outstanding achievements of CSUCI during its short history are, indeed, points of pride. No wonder students are so loyal to the campus.”
Avila began his academic career as a full-time lecturer at Fresno State. Since then, Avila has progressed through multiple academic and leadership appointments including those as Professor of Philosophy, department chair, and Associate Dean for Academic Programs within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at California State University, Fullerton.
As a scholar committed to diverse voices in the classroom, Avila has authored publications and conducted conference presentations on theories of international justice, human rights, and philosophical aesthetics, which are all deeply influenced by his commitment to “beginning our thought from the margins.”
His scholarship has also taken him abroad, where he has made numerous conference presentations on human rights theory in such diverse countries as Poland, Turkey, India, and Iran. He has also served as visiting professor at the Foreign Trade University in Vietnam and at Kumamoto University in Japan.
Avila officially begins his tenure as CSUCI Provost on Jan. 1, 2021.
“As Provost I pledge to build a respectful, collaborative, and accountable community where everyone—faculty, students, and staff—flourishes,” Avila said. “Academic excellence happens when we build trust across constituencies through collaboration and transparency, creating an inclusive environment where faculty and students prosper and succeed.”