Thomas A. Parham ’77 has been named UC Irvine’s vice chancellor for student affairs. His appointment comes after a comprehensive national search.

Parham has served enthusiastically as interim vice chancellor since September 2010, drawing upon his 27 years at UCI to oversee the development and administration of student affairs, educational programs, enrollment management, student financial aid, undergraduate and graduate housing, counseling and health services, student activities, campus recreation and auxiliary enterprises. Before assuming that role, he was director of the Career Center and Counseling Center, assistant vice chancellor for counseling & health services, and an adjunct faculty member.

“I’m looking forward to investing my talents and energy in the students at UCI and in helping them have the best academic and cocurricular experience possible,” Parham said. “I want to help students grow in ways that are important to them, however they define that. I want to help them feel personally engaged and feel like the campus cares about their intellectual and personal development, because the hope of any society is what it invests in the next generation.”

UCI Chancellor Michael Drake said the campus is fortunate to have a leader of Parham’s caliber: “He is a generous mentor and consummate team builder. He’s driven by values and cares not only about academic and research excellence but about cultivating leadership and character among our students as well.”

A fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association, Parham earned a bachelor’s degree in social ecology at UCI, a master’s in counseling psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and a doctorate in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is also a 2008 graduate of the Harvard Institute for Management & Leadership in Education.

Parham lectures extensively, contributes to scholarly journals and has written six books. The latest are The Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness, a collaborative project published last fall, and Culturally Adaptive Counseling Skills, released this year.

Among his many civic contributions, Parham is a founding member and past president of the 100 Black Men of Orange County, chaired Irvine’s Human Relations Committee and Planning Commission, and was president of both the Association of Black Psychologists and the Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development.

He has been honored by numerous community and professional groups for his scholarship, research, and work on leadership effectiveness and conflict resolution. Parham received UCI’s Lauds & Laurels award for staff achievement in 2003.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit

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