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Vice Chancellor Stephen C. Sutton Biography

Stephen C. Sutton, EdD

Stephen C. Sutton, EdD

Stephen C. Sutton, EdD, has served as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UC Berkeley since 2017. Dr. Sutton has spent his career advocating for students and operationalizing policies, services, and programs to support students in their growth and success. He has held several different administrative positions at Berkeley, including serving as the associate vice chancellor for Residential & Student Service Programs (RSSP).


Steve started his Student Affairs career at Berkeley in 1987, when he served as a residential life coordinator, working directly with students, residential advisors, and hall coordinators. He then worked at universities in Florida and Texas in various capacities, including student activities and student union management, and served as a dean of students. As the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of St. Thomas, he implemented a new and integrated model for both divisions grounded in student development best practices, with the primary objective of growing the current enrollment. This included creating a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) program and an innovative First-Year Experience Program.

Dr. Sutton returned to RSSP at Berkeley in 2009. During his tenure as associate vice chancellor for that department, Dr. Sutton contributed his expertise and leadership to critical campus and divisional issues such as organizational development, crisis intervention, change management, sexual assault/sexual violence education, student development theory, student health and wellness, and student advocacy. As a seasoned leader, he has led teams in developing goals, implementing strategic and operational initiatives, and setting metrics of success that resulted in process improvements.

Student Life Vision

During Dr. Sutton’s time as vice chancellor, Student Affairs has prioritized diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice (DEIBJ) efforts, including the creation of a new Senior Advisor and an Advisory Board.

New student housing remains critical to Berkeley’s growth and success. Dr. Sutton has helped to facilitate new housing projects including Blackwell Hall (775 beds – completed in 2018), Intersection Apartments (105 units – completed in 2021), Anchor House (772 beds – anticipated completion 2024) and Albany Village Graduate Student Apartments (761 beds – anticipated completion 2024) with more housing projects under way, such as People’s Park Housing (1,113 beds – underway), Upper Hearst (150 apartments – planning under way), and 2200 Bancroft (1200 beds – early conceptual planning). 

Additionally, Dr. Sutton has prioritized campus wellbeing, creating the inaugural position of Associate Vice Chancellor of Health and Wellbeing. Working in partnership with University Health Services, Dr. Sutton has prioritized access to student mental health services, which experienced 24,000 mental health appointments in academic year 2021–22. During that period, Student Affairs reduced average wait times to see a mental health counselor from 15 days to close to 3 days.  Berkeley has also signed the Okanagan Charter and fully embraces the goal of becoming a health promoting campus.  

Dr. Sutton has also been active in multiple professional associations, holding numerous leadership positions during his career. His commitment to supporting professional development for all staff is a reflection of the investments that others made in his growth and development, as well as his own personal commitment to his professional development activities. He enjoys coaching and engaging with team members about their professional development plans.   

Dr. Sutton’s vision for student life is largely informed by his own college experience as a first-generation college student at a large, public institution and from his experience as a resident assistant. As a result of these and other impactful experiences, he sees the objective of Student Affairs as “to make a big campus feel smaller” by creating supportive and engaging communities for all students. Helping each student feel that they matter and belong is crucial to this vision and drives the focus of the division’s programs, services, and philosophy. 

Dr. Sutton served as a charter faculty member of the Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration certificate program offered through UC Berkeley Extension. He previously served on the advisory board for the program and teaches courses on student development theory and organizational development.