Sam Bersola


Dr. Sam Bersola has 26 years of experience serving students in all four sectors of California’s higher education system: the independent colleges and universities, the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges.

As the Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate Education at UCLA since 2008, he oversees assistant deans in the areas of academic affairs; financial services & fellowships; and outreach, inclusion & diversity. He also oversees directors of information technology & institutional research; budget & personnel; and operations & external relations.

He earned a Ph.D. in education policy from Stanford University, a master’s in educational administration and social policy from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Bersola is a published researcher on the transitions from college to graduate school and from high school to college. He began his career in undergraduate admissions, working at the University of Southern California, California State University Maritime Academy and Amherst College, where he specialize in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students. He also taught high school mathematics and college counseled students in California, Massachusetts and Great Britain.

Prior to arriving at UCLA, he served as Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director of Residential Life at UC Santa Cruz and Vice President and Dean of Student Services at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA. As a 2015-16 American Council on Education Fellow, he shadowed two deans at Yale for a semester and the President of San Francisco State University (Les Wong) for a semester. He was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on two statewide committees/councils: the California State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care and The Committee on Awards for Innovation in Higher Education.