From the Office of the Provost:

Dear Members of the Fordham Community,

Father McShane and I are pleased to announce the appointment of José Luis Alvarado, Ph.D., as dean of the Graduate School of Education, effective July 1, 2021. Dr. Alvarado brings a wealth of experience to the role, having served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Cal State Los Angeles, the founding dean of the College of Education at California State University Monterey Bay, and associate dean of the College of Education at San Diego State University.

Dr. Alvarado earned a Ph.D. in education, with a specialization in special education, from the University of Virginia; an M.A. in special education from San Diego State University; and a B.A. in psychology from San Diego State University. He is a prolific scholar publishing in areas including education and multiculturalism, holistic learning approaches, approaches to students who have emotional and behavioral disorders, and the preparation of special education teachers. Supported by grants from the federal government and other sources, he has made it a central focus of his career to ensure that the educational system is responsive to those living in rural, diverse, and low-income communities. He has a well-established commitment to justice and equity that aligns perfectly with the mission of Fordham.

At California State University Monterey Bay, Dr. Alvarado helped establish accelerated credential programs for teachers in bilingual education and special education. He developed the Teacher Pathway Program as a novel partnership between California State University Monterey Bay and partner community colleges in the Salinas Valley region. Funded in part by philanthropic sources, the program educates local underserved students who are predominantly from diverse backgrounds, and who are the first from their families to attend college. The program has been hailed for demonstrating strong student retention and graduation rates. In building the College of Education, he cultivated a diverse community of students and faculty. Over 70% of new faculty hires were from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds.

Fordham’s Graduate School of Education offers more than 40 master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs in nearly three dozen fields of study. Faculty within the school are renowned teachers/scholars in educational leadership, counseling and counseling psychology, school psychology, and teacher education. As dean, Dr. Alvarado will serve as the chief academic officer of the Graduate School of Education, and bear responsibility for setting and implementing its vision.

Fordham is delighted to welcome an academic leader of Dr. Alvarado’s caliber. He has broad and deep administrative experience, from developing and communicating strategy to generating philanthropic support to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. His drive for excellence is rooted in his own life experience—he was a 10-year-old English learner himself, an immigrant son of impoverished parents who worked as farm laborers. As a first-generation college graduate, he is exceptionally devoted to the cause of educational access and opportunity. We look forward to his tenure at the helm of the Graduate School of Education.

We would like to thank the search committee, chaired by Faustino M. Cruz, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, for a comprehensive and inclusive national search. We likewise extend our heartfelt gratitude to Akane Zusho, Ph.D., professor of school psychology, who has admirably served as interim dean of the Graduate School of Education since July 2020.

Please join us in enthusiastically welcoming Dr. Alvarado to the Fordham community.


Dennis C. Jacobs, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs