Image of Michael Lopez Patton, new Dean of Students.

Pacific Oaks College announces new dean of students to enhance student experience and support diversity

Pacific Oaks College announces the appointment of Michael Lopez-Patton as the new dean of students. He brings more than a decade of experience in higher education administration, leadership, and management. Lopez-Patton’s appointment comes after serving as associate vice president of admissions at Pacific Oaks College for the past five years, where he worked collaboratively with all departments to support Pacific Oaks’ nontraditional student population, which makes dean of students a natural progression. Lopez-Patton will also serve as diversity officer, playing a vital role in ensuring that Pacific Oaks’ values of diversity, respect, social justice, and inclusion are upheld.

“We are excited about Lopez-Patton’s new position as dean at Pacific Oaks. He has proven success in building effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders and organizations,” Dr. Jack Paduntin, president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School, said. “I am confident that Michael Lopez-Patton will strive to maintain Pacific Oaks’s culturally welcoming college community. He is a champion for authentic institutional change, diversity, and inclusivity.”

In his prior admissions role, Lopez-Patton helped to create community partnerships to foster comprehensive pathways for students seeking to further their education. These included partnerships with Total Education Solutions, California Head Start Association, and YWCA Greater Los Angeles, as well as articulation agreements with local colleges and organizations, such as Pasadena City College, East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program, Los Angeles Southwest College, Glendale Community College, and East Los Angeles College. Lopez-Patton has also served as board chair for the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) West.

“I believe in the power of community to support individuals seeking to develop themselves and prepare for their future,” Lopez-Patton said. “Student success has always been at the forefront for me, and I encourage my colleagues to break down the barriers of traditional higher education. It is imperative that we increase equity of access to all individuals. Higher education not only impacts a person’s life and professional career but can also create positive outcomes for multi-generational families.”

Lopez-Patton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University and a Master of Public Administration from Argosy University. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Lopez-Patton was born in West Germany to a military family and has lived in six states from coast to coast. Having also lived in Argentina during his adult life, he is bilingual in Spanish and English.

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