President Joseph I. Castro has appointed Frank R. Lamas as the new vice president for Student Affairs at Fresno State, effective July 1, 2014.
Lamas, who has more than 30 years of administrative experience in higher education, has been vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students at the University of Texas at Arlington for nearly nine years. A native of Havana, Cuba, and raised in Syracuse, N.Y., he is a first-generation college student.
He will report to Castro and serve as a member of his Cabinet. Lamas will oversee 190 employees and 25 student service offices and programs, including enrollment, campus discipline, academic advising, migrant services, student activities and the University Student Union. He succeeds Dr. Paul Oliaro, who retired on Dec. 31, 2013.
“I am ecstatic that Frank Lamas accepted my invitation to join our campus administration,” said Castro. “His national reputation and accomplishments at UT Arlington and his comprehensive knowledge of student development and success, and retention theory will be important assets as we seek to enhance student success at Fresno State.”
Lamas was recently elected board chairman of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, an organization of professionals in Student Affairs. Lamas began working with the association in 1983 as an advisory board member.
Lamas currently is responsible for administering a budget of approximately $17.5 million and leading 180 professional staff members and 500 student staff. UT Arlington currently has a total enrollment of close to 34,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
“Fresno State is known for providing a student-centered environment and helping students attain their goals,” said Lamas. “I’m very pleased to be joining the team of faculty, staff and administrators that will continue to make Fresno State a university of first choice for students in the Central Valley and throughout the state.
“I was very impressed with the student leaders I met during my visit to Fresno State,” Lamas said. “I am looking forward to getting to know the student body and providing the programs, services and activities that will assist them to be successful students, in their future careers and as community members.”
Prior to his current position, Lamas was an administrator at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York for more than 10 years. He initially served as assistant vice president for Student Affairs and later assumed the roles of associate vice president interim vice president.
Earlier in his career, Lamas held positions at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.; McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.; Ithaca College in New York; Youngstown State University in Ohio and the State University of New York at Oneonta.
He received a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam, master’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany in Educational Administration and Policy Studies with a concentration in Higher Education Administration. His dissertation and research interests include social and academic determinants of retention/student success among college students.