Olga Diaz, an experienced higher education administrator in California, has been named the next vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion and student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Diaz has been director of student success and equity at Palomar College in San Marcos, California, since 2015. She will begin work at UW-Eau Claire on June 14.
“I am excited to welcome Olga to our leadership team at UW-Eau Claire,” says Chancellor James Schmidt. “Throughout her career, Olga has shown a passionate commitment to serving students, especially to ensuring underrepresented groups have the opportunity to pursue their higher education dreams. UW-Eau Claire aspires to be an inclusive and equitable learning community, and I am confident Olga can help our campus reach that goal.”
Diaz will replace Dr. Warren Anderson, who left UW-Eau Claire in December 2020 to become the senior equity, diversity and inclusion officer for the UW System, where he works with system leaders and individual campuses on EDI initiatives throughout the state.
“I am incredibly proud and excited to join the Blugold family,” Diaz says. “The UW-Eau Claire campus community has done great work to center diversity, equity and inclusion as core values. I look forward to contributing to the team in support of students, faculty, staff and the Eau Claire community.”
Diaz is familiar with the Eau Claire community and UW-Eau Claire despite being a lifelong resident of California. She has been a frequent visitor to Wisconsin because Diaz’s husband grew up in Eau Claire and her father-in-law, Dr. James Phillip “Phil” Griffin, was a former UW-Eau Claire philosophy professor and a chair of the philosophy and religious studies department.
In addition to her duties as director of student success and equity at Palomar College, Diaz also took on the administrative role as interim dean of counseling for two years. Prior to her work at Palomar College, Diaz was director of employment services at Interfaith Community Services in North San Diego County and was a senior research analyst at Santa Clara University.
Diaz also was involved in her community as she was the first elected person of color on the City Council in Escondido, California, where she served for 12 years.
Diaz received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Santa Clara University and her master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University. She is enrolled in a doctoral program in organizational change and leadership at the University of Southern California.