Areas of Oversight: Care & Crisis Services; Diversity & Equity
Before coming to Cornell, Dr. Vijay Pendakur served as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at California State University – Fullerton (CSUF), where he led a large portfolio of units including the Career Center, Student Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Veterans Resource Center, Disability Student Services, EOP, the University Learning Center, Athletic Academic Advising, and more. While at CSUF, he created elements of the institutional strategic plan, with special focus on the equity and graduation goals for our low-income college students, first generation students, and students of color. Prior to CSUF, he led a department at DePaul University dedicated to promoting student success for higher-risk and underserved college students, with special emphasis on graduates of the Chicago Public School system. He started his higher education career at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, his alma mater, where he worked full-time as a diversity and social justice educator while running a new Multicultural Student Center focused on serving first year college students.
Dr. Pendakur serves on the institute teaching faculty of the Center for Race and Equity at the University of Southern California and as a faculty member for the “High Impact Practices Institute” through the American Association of Colleges and Universities. He currently serves on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Working Group on Diversity, which advises the Director of the NIH on inclusion and equity strategy in the field of biomedical research.
In addition to being an experienced practitioner in student affairs administration, he is also a scholar of diversity and inclusion work. For a sample of his scholarly publications, explore the book he recently edited, Closing the Opportunity Gap: Identity-Conscious Strategies for Retention and Student Success. He has also published chapters and articles in New Directions in Higher Education: Reclaiming Higher Education’s Purpose in Leadership Development, Leadership Theory: A Facilitator’s Guide for Cultivating Critical Perspectives, Diversity & Democracy, The Leadership Exchange, as well as chapters in several books focused on Asian American college students.