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Carmen Taylor, Ph.D.
Professional Biography

Dr. Carmen Taylor

With a career spanning more than 30 years in student affairs, Dr. Carmen Taylor currently serves as Vice President of Student Affairs at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Dr. Taylor leads a division comprised of more than 35 departments and programs, 400 professional staff, and serving more than 37,000 students.

Prior to joining CSULB, Dr. Taylor spent seven years at Indiana State University, where she served as Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Her professionalism, collaborative nature, and service-oriented leadership style have developed from her time establishing services and leading programs at universities across the country with wide-ranging missions and cultures, including Duke University, Iowa State, North Carolina A&T, Purdue University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago among others.

The breadth of her experiences is measured not only by the types of institutions she has served in but also by her areas of service within each university. As a first-generation college student, Dr. Taylor strongly believes in the mission of the Educational Opportunity Programs and their commitment to provide higher education access to historically low-income and first-generation college students. She once served as the principle investigator on a grant project supported through TRiO, a collection of federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Additional accomplishments include creating a retention program for students of color, overseeing the creation of learning communities and co-educational living units, and establishing the first 24-hour, on-call housing system at a historically black college.

Dr. Taylor serves on a number of boards and committees with organizations at the national level. She is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), serves on the organization’s Center for Women Advisory Board, and has been active as a member of its African American Women’s Summit faculty since 2010. Most recently, she served as a faculty member for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) in their Senior Student Affairs Officer institute. Dr. Taylor was selected to join the 2013 Executive Leadership Academy (a program of the American Academic Leadership Institute), was a member of the Alice Manicur Symposium’s 2010 cohort, and a member of the Millennium Leadership Institute’s 2009 cohort.


I also believe in Servant Leadership. Leading is a mission of service for me.

“I believe in authentic leadership. I believe you get one opportunity to be yourself, so you might as well be yourself,” Taylor explained about her leadership style. “I also believe in Servant Leadership. Leading is a mission of service for me. I know others may see leadership differently, but as part of my own faith and belief, I think that we are all here to make life better for one another. I understand policies and procedures, and I can be an enforcer, but overall, I believe the focus should be on service.”

Dr. Taylor earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance, from Northern Illinois University. She received both her master’s and doctoral degrees in higher education student personnel from Iowa State University. She is the mother of three children: Kharmika, Marcus, and Kaya, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.