Christine Matta

UCR’s new dean of students is an advocate for underrepresented students, free speech

Her experience includes positions at Humboldt State University and UCLA

May 28, 2019
Author: J.D. Warren
May 28, 2019

An educator with a passion for boosting marginalized students will become UC Riverside’s next dean of students. 

Christine Mata will join UCR on Aug. 1 as dean of students and associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs. She is presently interim dean of students for Humboldt State University. Prior to her appointment to that post in July 2018, Mata was associate dean of students at Humboldt State for two years. From 2011-16, she served as assistant dean of students at UCLA. Her early career was spent in university residence and housing roles. 

“We are excited that Christine Mata will join the UCR team and its division of Student Affairs,” said Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Brian Haynes, who offered thanks to interim dean Ellen Whitehead for her service. “She has a wealth of experience in student affairs and is deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.” 

The dean of students oversees a broad range of student affairs functions related to student activities, student conduct, inclusion, adherence to Title IX and American Disabilities Act requirements, counseling, threat assessment, and crisis response. 

During her time at Humboldt State, Mata has been a free-speech advocate, educating students on the boundaries of protests. 

Among other things, Mata said she was drawn to UCR by its commitment to first-generation students. Mata grew up in East Los Angeles and was the first in her family to attend college.

“When I’ve walked through campus and seen these students working toward a college degree, I see myself in them,” she said. “As a first-generation college student and professional, I understand how daunting navigating systems can be when you are the first in your family. UC Riverside is a world-class institution, and I want our students to have the same positive experiences I had throughout my journey in the UC.”

She said a priority at UCR will be building a data-driven culture to aid in decision-making.  


Mata received her doctorate in education from UCLA in December 2018. She also earned master’s degrees from UCLA and Michigan State University, and a bachelor’s from UC Irvine. Mata said she transferred to UC Irvine “as a proud transfer student from East Los Angeles Community College.”