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@State - the SDSU Student Newsletter

Dr. James R. Kitchen Announces His Retirement

Last month, Dr. James R. Kitchen, Vice President for Student Affairs, announced his retirement, effective at the end of this academic year. It was announced that Associate Vice President Eric Rivera will serve as Acting Vice President.

Transforming the campus

Dr. Kitchen poses with studentsDr. Kitchen came to SDSU in July 2000, and over the last 13 years, served as a pivotal force in transforming the campus to the national model it has become. Through collaborations and strategic planning, Dr. Kitchen led the Division of Student Affairs and the university to dramatic increases in student success and retention. In all his endeavors, he has earned the deep respect and admiration of colleagues at SDSU and across the country.


SDSU President Eliot Hirshman praised Dr. Kitchen not only for his commitment to students, but also for his dedication to making SDSU a premier institution.

“On a personal note, Jim has provided wise counsel and a clear vision of the essential role of student affairs in the last two years since I became president,” he said. “I am grateful for his friendship, integrity, and profound dedication to the university and our broader community.”


Rivera pointed out the deep legacy that Dr. Kitchen will be leaving.

“In thinking about the last 13 years of Dr. Kitchen’s leadership, there were so many accomplishments, but the number one outcome of all of them has been increased student success,” said Rivera. “Dr. Kitchen advanced research and creative endeavors, community engagement, diversity, excellence and internationalism; all with the intent of providing a richer experience for students to develop and reach their highest educational aspirations.”

Nurturing students

The most enjoyable aspect of his job has been his interaction and nurturing of students.

“The thing I will miss the most is my daily interaction with students,” said Dr. Kitchen. “It is pure joy to work with students and watch them grow and develop into college graduates and then professionals. I consider myself a blessed man in that I was able to do something that fills me with passion and meaning.”

New chapter

Dr. Kitchen said he feels the time is right for him to begin this new chapter in his life, and he is looking forward to spending more time with his granddaughters, children and his wife, as well as more time on the ocean. He will still be tied to SDSU through his involvement in athletics, student leadership and other strategic initiatives.