Student Affairs

About Us

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

William Watkins

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.


VACANT, Associate Vice President for Student Access and Support Services


Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff, Associate Vice President for Student Life

Shelley Ruelas-BischoffShelley 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.


Cecille Avila-Robison
Resource Manager

Zeina Otaky-Ramirez
Assistant Dean of Students & Director of Student Conduct and Ethical Development

Robin Ferguson
Executive Assistant to the Vice President

Maria Fidaleo-Angell
Administrative Analyst/Specialist

Thanh Kha
Associate Budget Analyst

Maria Mancilla
Administrative Support Assistant

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.

Organizational Chart

Student Affairs & Dean of Students

William Watkins
VP for Student Affairs
Dean of Students

Julie Pearce
Director University Counseling Services

Linda Reid Chassiakos
Director Klotz Student Health Center

Jerry De Felice
Director of Development University Advancement

Paul Schantz
Director of Student Affairs Information Technology

Zeina Otaky-Ramirez
Assistant Dean of Students
Director of Student Conduct & Ethical Development

Cecille Avila-Robison
Resource Manager Student Affairs

Student Life

Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff
Associate Vice President for Student Life

Patrick Bailey
General Manager Associated Students

Debra Hammond
Executive Director University Student Union

Vicki Allen
Co-Director Matador Involvement Center

Christopher Aston
Director Student Development and Transitional Programs

Claire Davis
Director Student Housing and Conference Services

Student Access and Support Services

Associate Vice President for Student Access and Support Services

Nyla Dalferes
Director The Career Center

Jodi Johnson
Director Disability Resources and Education Services

Cathy Mcleod
Director National Center on Deafness

Sandy Plotin
Managing Director Center on Disabilities

Enrollment Services

Todd Wolfe
Registrar Office of the Registrar

Aaron Lindberg
Director Office of Admissions

Shelline Warren
Interim Director of Financial Aid & Scholarship Department

Juana Maria Valdivia
Director of Student Outreach & Recruitment Services

Marta Lopez
Director International & Exchange Student Center

Strategic Planning

Learning Outcomes and Assessment