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San Diego State University

Division of Student Affairs

Office of the Vice President

Eric Rivera 

Vice President for Student Affairs 


photo of Eric

Eric Rivera has nearly 30 years of professional experience in higher education, with progressively responsible senior level experience in Student Affairs. Prior to his appointment as the Vice President for Student Affairs at San Diego State University (SDSU), he served for six years as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and the four years prior, he served as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Vice President Rivera is responsible for the division-wide strategic planning and analysis. Specifically, he has direct oversight for administering the division’s $70-million budget, all student affairs departments, and their human resources, facilities, communication, and IT functions.

Vice President Rivera was the first in his family to go away and graduate from college. Born and raised in the Bronx in New York City, his parents did not speak English. He was not considered to be on the “college bound” track while in high school. Realizing the value of learning and that as human beings, we can all be “students for life,” he determined that education would be a natural career choice. As a first-generation college graduate, having direct experience working at urban public universities and colleges serving a diverse student body, Vice President Rivera is committed to access and success for all students.

As part of the SDSU’s senior leadership team, Vice President Rivera played an integral role in charting pathways for student success for all students at SDSU. In 2010, SDSU was nationally recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education for the best improvement in its graduation rate of any public research university in the country. In 2012, SDSU was nationally recognized for being “an increasingly diverse research institution”. In 2015, SDSU was nationally recognized by The Education Trust as one of only 26 universities in the country that has managed to improve its graduation rates of students in all ethnic and racial backgrounds, while increasing its diversity and number of low income students it serves, and has virtually eliminated the achievement gap for its six year graduation rates for its students of color. In 2017, SDSU was nationally recognized by the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education as a top university for Hispanics, ranking number 9 for bachelor’s degrees granted to Hispanics.

Prior to his affiliation with San Diego State University, Vice President Rivera worked at California State University, Los Angeles, the State University of New York-Oswego, and Monroe College, Bronx, New York. Vice President Rivera is very blessed to have worked at two of the largest state university systems in the nation (CSU and SUNY), which gave him a unique perspective and understanding of the importance of aligning campus resources with student access and student success strategies.

Vice President Rivera's professional affiliations include National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Council for the Advancement & Support of Education (CASE), Association for the Study of Higher Education, and Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (ASHE & HACU). He served on NASPA's Latino Knowledge Community Advisory Board and Minority Undergraduate Fellows Program Advisory Board.

In addition to his professional associations, Vice President Rivera is very active in the community. He was a member of the San Diego Community College Trustee's Advisory Board and the City of San Diego Otay Mesa Planning Group. Vice President Rivera was appointed by the Mayor and City Council to the San Diego Convention Center Corporation Board of Directors from 2002 through 2006; and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Education Committee during 2003-2004. He also currently sits on the San Diego Gas and Electric Advisory Board.

Vice President Rivera was honored with an SDSU Presidential Top 25 Award in 2007 and again in 2010. He was the recipient of an Abrazo award in 2010. He was also the recipient of the NASPA Latino Knowledge Community's Outstanding Senior Student Affairs Officer Award in March 2007.

Vice President Rivera has completed the Harvard Management & Leadership in Education Program. In addition, he possesses a master's degree in public administration from the City University of New York, Baruch College and a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of the State of New York.


Contact Information

Office hours: 8 am - 4:30 pm
Phone: (619) 594-4721
Fax: (619) 594-7089