Richard Yao was appointed interim president of CSU Channel Islands in January 2021. He previously served as CI's vice president for student affairs. Yao, who identifies as a Chinese Filipino American, is the first person of color to lead the campus.
Yao was appointed to the position of vice president for student affairs in 2018, and in that role he lead the campus' functions including Campus Life; Housing & Residential Education; Student Affairs Assessment, Data and Evaluation; Retention, Outreach and Inclusive Student Services; and Associated Students, Inc.
He is a licensed clinical psychologist who joined CI from Nevada State College, where he was the founding Dean of Students, the chief student affairs officer and a senior lecturer in psychology for eight years before his transition into student affairs. Yao also served as chair of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Student Affairs Council, a group comprised of vice presidents of student affairs and other high-level administrators from across the state.
B.A., Psychology, Eastern Illinois University M.A., Clinical Psychology, Eastern Illinois University Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Fielding Graduate University