CLA Welcomes New Dean

July 2022
Portrait of Deborah Thien, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA).
Photo Credit: Sean DuFrene / Photographer
Strategic Communications
California State University, Long Beach

After a national search process, Dr. Deborah Thien has been selected as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Dr. Thien has deep roots in the College of Liberal Arts, and she brings extensive knowledge of campus practices, an interdisciplinary background that spans the social sciences and the humanities, and a wide network of CSULB colleagues and partnerships.

Dr. Thien has been Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success in the CLA since 2019. In this role, Dr. Thien oversees the college’s more than 2,000 course sections per semester schedule; she works closely with department chairs on enrollment and mode strategies; and she champions innovation and equity initiatives in leadership development, graduate studies, and internships. Dr. Thien collaborated with the CLA Faculty Council and the CSULB Faculty Center to develop and deliver the Misty Jaffe Early Leaders Program (ELP); she worked alongside the CLA graduate director and CLA graduate council to launch the CLA Equity Scholars (EQS) initiative to support graduate student success; and she is leading two CLA Data Fellows groups to examine the critical issue of attrition and the historic Ethnic Studies general education roll-out, respectively. She also spearheaded new communications programs in the college including Aspire, a magazine designed to highlight and celebrate the many successes of the CLA.

Previously, Dr. Thien was Chair of the Department of Human Development (2017-2019) and Interim Director of the University Honors Program (2015-2019). Dr. Thien is also a Professor in the Department of Geography where she has been a faculty member since 2006. Her teaching and research expertise is in the areas of feminist, social and cultural geographies, with a focus on the spaces of emotion, health, and well-being.

Dr. Thien earned her BA in English and Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria, Canada; her MA in Gender Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, including a year as an International Exchange Scholar at Massey University, New Zealand; and her Ph.D. in Human Geography from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Please join us in thanking Dean David Wallace for his leadership for these last 10 years, and welcoming Dean Deborah Thien!