Tiffany López, professor in The New American Film School in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, has been named Arizona State University’s next vice provost for inclusion and community engagement.
López assumed the new leadership role on Jan. 1, after spending the fall semester in the provost’s office as a leadership fellow, working alongside Professor Stanlie James, who vacated the role Dec. 31, 2020. James will retire in May 2021.
López was previously the director of the former School of Film, Dance and Theatre. The Herberger Institute recently reorganized its schools, with the School of Music, Dance and Theatre and The New American Film School taking the place of the former School of Film, Dance and Theatre and the School of Music.
As the School of Film, Dance and Theatre’s director since July 2016, López has helped position ASU’s film program as one of the top 25 fastest-growing programs in the nation, while increasing the number of undergraduate female filmmakers and diversifying faculty within the school’s programs. She has also been a key player in preparing the university's film program to launch into The New American Film School and for the Herberger Institute's scheduled expansion into Mesa City Center in 2022.
As a first-generation college student, López has dedicated her career to expanding opportunities in higher education, advancing the role of the arts and building pathways to support success through leadership. López believes she would not be where she is today without the support of transformative mentors.
“I’m excited to be appointed into a leadership role that serves the entire university and has a core focus on inclusion and community engagement,” López said. “These are pillars for creating an environment where everyone feels supported to bring their best and whole selves to working with a sense of purpose and connection.”
The Office of Inclusion and Community Engagement is a unit within the Office of the University Provost that helps ASU achieve its commitment to creating an inclusive environment through campus programs, initiatives and beyond.
“Dr. López has demonstrated great efforts in advancing the university’s commitment to inclusion,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “Her leadership of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre reflects that and positions her well to contribute to the university’s continued work toward a fully inclusive community. Tiffany will be building on the work of Professor James and her challenge will be to help ASU accelerate its achievement of its goals.”
Before coming to ASU, López spent more than two decades at the University of California, Riverside, where inclusion and community engagement were instrumental to her teaching, research and creative activity on how artists use their work to stage conversations about trauma and violence to generate paths for personal and social change.
It has been no different at ASU’s Herberger Institute. López has worked tirelessly to create a spirit of “radical welcome.” And as senior adviser to the dean for equity practices and engagement, she has helped advance inclusive initiatives, such as recent work with the social justice organization Race Forward and the ongoing Projecting All Voices fellows program.
“I’m looking forward to working with university leaders and members of the ASU community to identify the gap between our intentions and impact,” said López about her goals in the new leadership role. “This is necessary to fully realize the vision of our charter, which provides such a wonderful compass for this work.”
López is a founding member of the Latino Theater Alliance of Los Angeles, the National Latinx Theater Commons and the Latinx Literature Society for the American Literature Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Sacramento and her master’s degree and PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was also the first Cesar Chavez Dissertation Fellow at Dartmouth College.
López is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including ASU Faculty Women’s Association Outstanding Faculty Mentor award (2019), Hispanic Lifestyle Latina of Influence (2015), Fulbright Scholar (2004); and numerous grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller Foundation.
Top photo of Tiffany López provided by the Herberger Institute.