Claudia Araiza, PhD – Chancellor
Dr. Claudia Araiza took office as Chancellor of Southern States University on November 8, 2021. With 20 years of combined administrative, teaching, and leadership experience in higher education, her passion for education, her first-hand knowledge of the functions of the University, and her commitment and dedication to attending to the needs of students, faculty, and staff will drive the institution to its next chapter.
Dr. Araiza has been with the University since 2009 in various capacities as Adjunct Faculty, Core Faculty, Chair of the Undergraduate Program Oversight Committee, Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation, and as Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer. Prior to taking office as the Chancellor, she was instrumental in expanding academic program offerings, revamping the faculty governance structure, renewing accreditation approvals, and developing new departments and committees in support of the strategic initiatives of the University.
Dr. Araiza began a career as an International Trade Analyst with the U.S. Department of Commerce and her academic experience began more than 20 years ago while working for the UCLA Medical Group, SDSU Foundation, Clark University-Marsh Institute, and Claremont Graduate University with her involvement in multidisciplinary research studies geared towards the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the National Science Foundation. She has also served as an Academic Consultant in higher education, including in institutional effectiveness and accreditation and teaching of economics, business, and statistics with a couple of educational organizations such as the Saylor Academy and the University of Maryland, and has been active in the Economics profession by serving as Treasurer for the Southwestern Economics Association. Her passion in economics is reflected with her recent involvement with the academic community by presenting her research on “Income Shocks and Natural Disasters” during the 2021 Annual Conference of the Southwestern Social Sciences Association.
A native of San Diego, California, she is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA degree in International Business and Economics and an MA degree in Economics. She received her PhD degree in Economics with a specialization in Business and Financial Economics from Claremont Graduate University.
She has an affinity towards learning different cultures as she has English and Spanish as native tongues with French, German, and Portuguese in her repertoire of learned foreign languages. Outside of her profession, Dr. Araiza is very dedicated to her family and to living a healthy lifestyle by enjoying the outdoors.