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California State University, Sacramento

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Vice President of Student Affairs

Dr. Ed Mills


Picture of Ed MillsA collaborative and adaptable leader with more than thirty years of experience, Dr. Mills has committed his career to supporting students to achieve their dreams. He is a highly experienced administrator with special expertise in enrollment management. He cares deeply about his students and actively partners with faculty, staff and community leaders to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment.

Dr. Mills stays very involved with his students.  With Improve Your Tomorrow (IYT), he created IYT-University to support young men of color.  He served on the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Foundation to raise scholarships for LGBTQ+ students.  He is a board member of the Future Foundation of Sacramento where he raises funds for scholarships and mentors high achieving, low-income, first generation students. 

As a first-generation college student himself, Dr. Mills learned to navigate complex academic and financial processes.  He often tells students how he missed his first year orientation. Without that information, he showed up at the university a week early and lived in his van until the residence halls opened.  Working part-time in the financial aid office, he started his career helping students figure out ways to finance their education. 

After earning his baccalaureate degree in Health Science, Dr. Mills pursued a career in higher education.  He landed his first job as a financial aid coordinator at Penn State. There, he created a very successful peer-counseling program and earned his M.Ed.  He was deeply disturbed by acts of discrimination he witnessed on campus and began working actively to support minority, historically disadvantaged and first-generation students. 

In 1995, Dr. Mills left Penn State to pursue higher education consulting work. During his eight years at Datatel, Inc., he consulted with two and four-year institutions providing expertise in administrative systems, enrollment management and continuous quality improvement.  Dr. Mills was named Datatel’s Employee of the Year in 1998 for his work on one of the nation’s first online registration systems.

In 2003, Dr. Mills accepted an appointment as Vice Provost for Enrollment Services at Cleveland State University. There he worked with academic departments, the academic senate and administrative offices to increase enrollment and remove administrative barriers.  Dr. Mills created one of the most successful one-stop student service centers in the country (Campus411).  With the guidance of faculty mentors, he began teaching an Introduction to University Life course. He has now taught first year courses for 15 years.  He has also been a guest lecturer for graduate courses focusing on subjects in Student Affairs and leadership ethics. He currently sits on a doctoral dissertation committee at Sacramento State.

Dr. Mills joined Sacramento State in 2007 and has served as Vice President for Student Affairs since 2014.  As a member of the President’s cabinet, Dr. Mills oversees a budget of more than $68 million covering 58 departments and 450 staff and faculty.  He has led university committees on diversity, administrative policies and wellness initiatives.  He has provided leadership for multi-million dollar construction and facility improvement projects for Student Affairs, Auxiliaries and Athletics.  He also serves as co-principle investigator on several grants with faculty including the university’s Developing Hispanic Serving Institution grant.

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