Announcing the appointment of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success

To: UCSC Community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

I am excited to announce that Akirah J. Bradley-Armstrong will serve as our next Vice Chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs and Success. Her first day will be May 16.

An accomplished student affairs leader, Akirah currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she provides vision and dynamic leadership focused on supporting student belonging, engagement, health, wellness, and much more. She works closely with student leadership to support student needs and priorities, as well as to ensure student perspectives are understood and considered across campus. Akirah also advises Boulder’s chancellor, provost, and chief operating officer on critical student-related topics and serves in both the chancellor’s and the provost’s cabinets.

As vice chancellor, she has overseen the creation of a “student transitions and academic partnerships portfolio” that aims to provide a roadmap for potential student pathways from acceptance through graduation. Boulder is working to collaboratively assess and enhance the first-year experience, develop an impactful second-year program, and brainstorm and operationalize innovative initiatives in partnership with the academic colleges to increase student retention.

Akirah has more than 17 years of experience in higher education. She joined Boulder in 2016 as dean of students and associate vice chancellor. In that role she created a new social justice residence hall, a summer bridge program for veterans, and a student engagement and response team to help students successfully exercise their free speech rights. She worked at UC Berkeley from 2008 to 2016, starting as an academic programs coordinator in the Early Academic Outreach Program before serving as an academic specialist in the Office of Student Development. In 2011 she was named assistant dean of students.

Akirah holds a doctorate of education in educational leadership from UC Davis, a master of education in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont, and a bachelor of science in business administration from Mansfield University.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Jennifer Baszile for providing critical leadership in our Division of Student Affairs and Success since July 2020, when she agreed to serve as our interim vice chancellor. Jennifer’s leadership has been instrumental over the past year and half, increasing student support and expanding the division’s scope and offerings. She has helped us strengthen and broaden our support for students and lay the foundation for advancing student success. Once she completes her role as interim Vice Chancellor, Jennifer will serve as Associate Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Educational Partnerships.

I also would like to thank the search advisory committee for its work in reviewing candidates and identifying finalists. We had an extremely strong group of finalists. Thank you, as well, to the many members of our campus community who provided valuable feedback after meeting with our candidates. The input was exceptionally helpful in this important search.

Please join me in welcoming Akirah and congratulating her on becoming a Banana Slug!