William A. Covino is the seventh president of California State University, Los Angeles, leading the institution as it realizes its mission of engagement, service, and the public good. President Covino holds a Ph.D. in English and has published important scholarship on the power and uses of rhetoric, persuasion, and imagination. He is also a nationally celebrated proponent of civic learning.
Since becoming president in September 2013, President Covino has emphasized the importance of a curriculum that prepares students to transform the future and improve the quality of life in Los Angeles and beyond. To achieve this goal, he is leading efforts to closely connect civic learning and community service to many of the more than 4,500 courses and programs that have been reinvented as the University moves from a quarter to semester calendar in fall, 2016. He has cultivated new alliances and partnerships that will enrich opportunities for students and the community.
President Covino has overseen the establishment of Cal State LA’s Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good, which consolidates and strengthens community service and service-learning opportunities. Under his leadership, the University has also launched a bioscience incubator that will promote economic development in the region. Through Civic University, a partnership with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the University is helping to train civic and community leaders. The program exemplifies President Covino’s commitment to increasing civic participation.
As part of President Covino’s philosophy of putting students first, enrollment at Cal State LA is at an all-time high and the University has opened a new campus in downtown Los Angeles. Through the Mind Matters initiative, President Covino and First Lady, Dr. Debbie Covino, are aiding student success by providing resources for physical and mental well-being.
A first-generation college student, President Covino moved with his family from Connecticut to the San Fernando Valley when he was 12. He graduated from Reseda High School and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where earned his bachelor’s degree in English. He holds master’s degrees from California State University, Northridge and the University of Southern California. He earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California in 1981.
Learn more about Dr. Covino and his vision for Cal State LA.