May 182010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

CSU President Tony Frank Tuesday morning announced Mary Ontiveros as his pick for the vice president of Diversity.

Ontiveros currently serves as associate vice president of the Division of Enrollment and Access, and with the new part-time position she will evaluate the diversity climate at CSU, lead efforts to expand diversity, develop partnerships outside the university and organize the annual Diversity Conference, Frank said in an e-mail sent to the campus community Tuesday.

Her tenure is slated to begin July 1.

After recommendations from a diversity task force, Frank put together a search committee charged with the task of filling the part-time position with an internal faculty member.

The committee, headed up by Vice President of Student Affairs Blanche Hughes, found four “very dedicated, very talented” faculty members who qualified for the position in Frank’s Cabinet, including Ontiveros. They were:

• Arlene Nededog, director of undergraduate retention programs for the College of Natural Resources,
• Irene Vernon, professor and chair of the Ethnic Studies Department for the College of Liberal Arts, and
• Blane Harding, director of Advising, Recruitment and Retention for the College of Liberal Arts.

“One of the real challenges of an internal search is that we know and respect all of the candidates personally, and in this case, that has certainly made my decision quite difficult, as each of our finalists would bring something unique and important to the role,” Frank said in the e-mail.

The new VPD has been involved with the CSU community since 1974 and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the university, Frank said, adding that with her thesis titled “Creating an Environment Conducive to the Recruitment of Minority Students,” Ontiveros has shown dedication to diversity efforts from the beginning

“Mary’s history with the university, her exceptional connections in the statewide community, and her comprehensive understanding of the challenges we face in building a more welcoming, diverse campus all make her a great fit,” Frank said in the e-mail.

Ontiveros, he said, is currently involved in CSU’s current diversity projects. The Alliance Program, which Ontiveros helped create, sends representatives to 10 low-income, high diversity schools in an attempt to help students interested in higher education move on to a university.

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at

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