Richard Yao, the vice president for student affairs at CSU Channel Islands, has been named the university’s interim president by CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.
Yao will assume leadership of the Camarillo-area university on Jan. 11, when current president Erika Beck leaves to becomes president of CSU Northridge, White’s office announced Nov. 12. Yao, who is Chinese and Filipino American, is the first person of color to lead CSUCI.
“Dr. Yao is highly regarded by faculty, staff, students and community members, and brings stability and insight to the campus at a critical time,” said White in a news release. “He is fully committed to the four key areas of the campus’ Strategic Initiatives for 2018-23: Educational Excellence, Student Success, Inclusive Excellence, and Capacity & Sustainability. I am confident that Dr. Yao’s leadership will advance the commitment to students and community.”
In Yao’s position as vice president for student affairs, he led campus life through housing and residential education, student affairs assessment, retention, outreach and inclusive student services and other focuses. Before he joined CSUCI in 2018, Yao was the founding dean of students and the chief student affairs officer at Nevada State College. At Nevada State, he worked with Beck, who was provost of that campus before she joined CSUSCI.
Yao is expected to serve as interim president through June 30, 2022. CSU trustees will start looking for a permanent president next year to lead the university after Yao’s term is finished.