Anna Gonzalez, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Harvey Mudd College, has been appointed vice chancellor for student affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, effective July 1, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin. Gonzalez will succeed Lori S. White, who left the position last July to become president of DePauw University.
A nationally recognized student affairs leader, Gonzalez has served since 2018 in her current role, in which she oversees residential life, student activities, career services, health and wellness, institutional diversity and community engagement. She also serves as program director and faculty member for Claremont Graduate University’s graduate program in student affairs educational justice.
“The student experience is at the heart of what we do here at Washington University. It is essential to our mission that we create a supportive, engaging campus environment where our students can learn, explore and thrive. We could not be more pleased to have attracted a talented leader like Anna Gonzalez to this critical role,” Martin said. “I’m thankful to the search committee for its outstanding work finding the best candidates in higher education and leading us, ultimately, to exactly the right person for the job.
“I also cannot express strongly enough our gratitude to Rob Wild for his service as interim vice chancellor during the past year. His dedication and leadership have been instrumental to our success, particularly as we’ve managed the COVID-19 pandemic and other major challenges. Rob is deeply committed to WashU and its students and we are incredibly fortunate to have him as a member of our senior leadership team.”
With 25 years of experience in higher education, Gonzalez’s expertise is focused on leading successful student affairs operations with a particular commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in all aspects of student life. She previously held positions at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Semester at Sea and at Lewis & Clark College, where she is a founding faculty member and program director for the master’s program in student affairs administration in the Graduate School of Counseling and Education. She has been honored nationally for her leadership with the Pillar of the Profession and the Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Dean from NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, an organization for which she has served on the national board of directors.
As an academic, Gonzalez’s research interests are focused on first-generation students, immigrant students, equity and diversity, higher education policy and governance, student affairs administration, and higher education finance. Her scholarly publications include the book “Transformational Encounters: Shaping Diverse College and University Leaders,” published in 2018.
In her new role, Gonzalez’s primary focus will be on support and leadership of the university’s renowned Division of Student Affairs, engagement with students to recognize and understand their needs to enhance their experiences, development of effective means to support and assess the co-curricular learning of students, and providing a sense of community and fostering student learning and personal development.
“I’m excited to be coming to Washington University, an institution that is known for its strong sense of community and commitment to ensuring the success of talented students from all backgrounds,” Gonzalez said. “I’m eager to get to St. Louis and start getting to know the names and stories of students, faculty and staff who make WashU such a special place. Together, I know we will build on the university’s strong foundation of excellence as we help our students become global and impactful leaders of the 21st century.”
A first-generation college student who immigrated to the United States at the age of 10, Gonzalez is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in international business. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees, both in education, from Claremont Graduate University. In her spare time, “Dr. G.” enjoys traveling, getting to know the local food scene, gardening and spending lots of time with her two dogs, Rafa and Yoshi.