After an open national search, the University of Hawaiʻi System announces the appointment of Risa E. Dickson as its new vice president for academic affairs. Dickson is currently professor of communication studies, and most recently served as associate provost for academic personnel at California State University, San Bernardino, one of 23 campuses in the California State University system. Dickson’s appointment was approved at a recent UH Board of Regents meeting and is effective on or about February 2, 2015.
She will fill the vacancy created when Linda Johnsrud left the university in 2013.
As vice president for academic affairs Dickson will serve 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, Hawaiʻi P–20 Partnerships for Education and international and strategic initiatives.
“We are all looking forward to Risa Dickson joining us and advancing the progress toward achieving Hawaiʻi’s educational goals made under Linda Johnsrud’s leadership,” said President David Lassner. “The search advisory committee was particularly impressed with Risa’s strong data-based approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities facing higher education, her knowledge of national trends; her understanding of higher education systems and her experience and commitment to serving underrepresented groups. Risa’s talents will be an excellent fit with our university’s strategic directions and our commitment to increasing educational attainment in Hawaiʻi.”
“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to join the University of Hawaiʻi and to use my skills and experiences in service to the state and people of Hawaiʻi, “ Dickson said. “It is with great anticipation and excitement that I look forward to working with President Lassner, the system leadership, the campuses and the community to further the educational goals of the state.”
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, both from the University of Southern California. In addition to her experience as associate provost she has been a tenured professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, San Bernardino, department chair, associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters and executive assistant to the president for planning and special programs. She has been an American Council on Education Fellow and is a member of the ACE Council of Fellows Professional Development Committee.