The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs provides strategic leadership and guidance to departments within the Division of Student Affairs and fosters collaborations throughout the university in order to support student success and well-being. The office assists students in navigating campus policies and procedures and is as an advocate for services and programs that improve the quality of the student experience. The office plays a central role in promoting student well-being, responsible student behavior and ethical conduct.
The Office of the Vice President provides administrative oversight and direction for the services offered by departments within the division. In doing so, the office maintains a vigorous program review and student assessment that seeks to advance specific student-learning and service outcomes. The office is also responsible for administering and/or interpreting procedures concerning ethical student behavior, student records, use of campus facilities, students’ right to privacy and academic grade appeals.
We invite students, parents, faculty and staff to make full use of the information available through the university and Student Affairs websites. If you need further assistance, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, and we will do our very best to assist you.
Dr. William Watkins
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Dr. William Watkins, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Dr. Watkins was appointed Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students in June 2010. He is an alumnus of Cal State Northridge, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in urban studies. As an undergraduate, he was elected student body president, the first African-American to hold that position, and received the prestigious Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. He went on to earn his master’s in public administration from the University of Southern California and his doctorate in education leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Watkins is the chief student affairs officer, providing leadership and direction to the programs and services of the Division of Student Affairs. He is a member of the president’s cabinet, and serves on or chairs a wide range of campus committees and boards. He serves as a student advocate and advises student leaders, clubs and organizations. Dr. Watkins is widely known and respected for his commitment to the intellectual and personal development of students, and is dedicated to continuing the work that has made Student Affairs a division focused on student learning and success.
Dwayne Cantrell, Associate Vice President for Student Access and Support Services
Dwayne Cantrell provides leadership and strategic direction for programs and services that support access and student success from the point of application to graduation. He holds administrative oversight for the office of Student Outreach and Recruitment, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Disabilities Resources and Educational Services, Center on Disabilities, National Center on Deafness and Career Center. Over the course of his 20 year career in education, he has held a variety of leadership roles within both K-12 and higher educational institutions. He also maintains an active role in teaching, publishing and presenting on a variety of issues related to leadership, student development, and team building. Dr. Cantrell holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from CSU Northridge, a Doctor of Theology degree from Summit Bible College, an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an M.A. in Education with an emphasis on counseling and student personnel from San Jose State University.
Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff, Associate Vice President for Student Life
Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff provides leadership and strategic direction for programs and services that support successful student transition, engagement, personal development and learning. She holds administrative oversight for the Office of Student Development, the International and Exchange Student Center, Student Housing and Conference Services, Associated Students, and the University Student Union. Dr. Ruelas has been dedicated to issues of access and equity for students throughout her career, with a strong focus on initiatives aimed at improving the educational, personal and social outcomes of traditionally underserved and diverse student populations. Dr. Ruelas is a licensed psychologist and earned her doctorate in counseling, clinical and school psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Director of Student Conduct & Ethical Development
Executive Assistant to the Vice President
Associate Budget Analyst
Administrative Support Coordinator
Jerry De Felice
Director of Development
Mission, Values and Beliefs
The Division of Student Affairs furthers the mission of California State University, Northridge by advancing student learning, enhancing personal development, encouraging social and civic responsibility, and promoting student well-being and success. We fulfill our mission by collaborating with others, engaging individuals and communities in inclusive and educationally purposeful activities, creating opportunities for access, delivering support services, and advocating for student needs and aspirations.
The Division of Student Affairs is integral in accomplishing the university's mission and guided by the following beliefs: each student admitted to the university arrives with the potential to succeed; each student deserves equal opportunity and respect; each student deserves the opportunity to develop wholly; each member of our learning community is a student, a learner and a role model ; diversity enhances the quality of the educational experience; an environment of civility promotes student learning and respect for all people; individual rights must be balanced with individual responsibility; the co-curriculum, intentionally combined with the curriculum, contributes to individual transformation and social change; the collective good must be balanced with individual needs; administrators help students overcome barriers to their success; administrative interactions with students should positively impact their learning; conflict and controversy can be tools for student learning; ultimately, everyone is responsible for his or her own learning.
We are grounded in values of excellence, optimism, inquiry, diversity, integrity, compassion, balance, creativity, respect, accountability, collaboration and pride.
Download the PDF version of the Division of Student Affairs Organizational Chart.