As vice president for academic planning and policy, Risa E. Dickson serves as the chief academic officer for the UH System with overall responsibility for leadership, planning and intercampus coordination of academic affairs, student affairs, policy and planning, institutional research and analysis, international and strategic initiatives and Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education.
Dickson served at California State University, San Bernardino for 24 years as associate provost for academic affairs, executive assistant to the president for planning and special programs, associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and chair of the department of Communication Studies. She is an American Council on Education Fellow and is a member of the ACE Council of Fellows Professional Development Committee.
An attachment theorist by training, Dickson has studied attachment patterns across the life span, and has most recently focused on biological foundations of communication behavior. Dickson earned a bachelor’s degree in communication theory from California State University, Northridge and a master’s degree in communication and a doctorate in interpersonal and organizational communication from the University of Southern California.