Division of Student Affairs

Meet the Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Thomas R. Rios serves as Chico State’s Interim Vice President for Student Affairs. Immediately after high school, he worked in Milwaukee for five years as a telephone operator, factory worker, janitor, and slaughterhouse butcher (he cut off the heads of steers). Upon losing one of his factory jobs, he entered a government program to help unskilled workers learn a new trade. It was in this program that he met a teacher who encouraged him to apply for college. He began college at the age of 23 years, and completed his undergraduate degree in 2.5 years.

Tom earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, his master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. from Indiana State University. He has worked at Pima Community College in Arizona, University of Wisconsin - Waukesha; Dartmouth College, New Hampshire; Allegheny College, Pennsylvania; Indiana State University; Michigan State University; and the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.

During his career, Tom held various administrative positions while teaching both undergraduate and graduate students. He has numerous professional interests, but among them is the blended learning gained from domestic diversity and international education. He received a Fulbright International Education Administrators Fellowship to Germany (Fall 2015), consulted in Morocco, led study abroad programs in Vietnam and Mexico, and created a graduate course in comparative higher education with travel to Ecuador. In spite of his career experiences and travels, Tom still considers himself the “blue collar kid from the southside of Milwaukee.”

Portrait of Meet the Vice President for Student Affairs