Clarissa M. Cota has a distinguished 25-year career in higher education, serving as a professor of legal studies and administration. As a proud member of a family with Mexican immigrant roots, she has seen first-hand the impact of educational attainment on family structures. She is passionate about improving educational access for all, aligning intentional pathways to workforce and increasing student success outcomes by promoting cutting edge innovation and making data-driven student focused change. She currently serves as the Vice President/Provost of the North Las Vegas Campus for the College of Southern Nevada. In this position, she reports to the President and serves as the head of the campus management team, aligns campus goals and activities to the overall mission and vision of the College, and meets the unique needs of the respective service area. She is leading the transition to a multi-campus district and performance-based organization, ensuring a consistent student experience at all CSN campuses.
In 2018, she served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs for the College of Southern Nevada (CSN). The College of Southern Nevada is one of the largest community colleges in the country and serves over 40,000 students. The Academic Affairs division has approximately 1,500 faculty and staff, over 200 programs of study from bachelor degrees to industry skills certificates, and the service area includes 3 main campuses and numerous satellite sites. Ms. Cota managed an instructional budget of $40 million, an instructional support budget of $6 million and self support budgets in the Division of Workforce and Economic Development including apprenticeship.
As Interim Dean for the School of Business, Hospitality and Public Service and Department Chair, she has overseen the academic programs in business, management, entrepreneurship, real estate, marketing and paralegal studies which now includes a new Bachelors of Applied Science in Project Management. Under her leadership as department chair, the Business Incubator Program was developed which currently has 43 student run businesses, designed the Interactive Business Lab and helped to generate over $500,000 in grants and gifts to benefit the students and support program development.
She holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Arizona and is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the American and Clark County Bar Associations, the Latino Bar Association for Southern Nevada, the American Association of University Professors, the Nevada Faculty Alliance. Ms. Cota has institutional accrediting experience and has served as the Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), as well as a National Commissioner for the Associates Board of Directors of the Accrediting Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). She has served in a leadership capacity on numerous college committees, local and state committees and boards, including chairing the Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force for CSN and Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) and serving as the American Council on Education (ACE) Office of Women in Higher Education, Southern Nevada Coordinator.
She has been awarded numerous academic recognitions including the President’s Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award for the College of Southern Nevada, the El Dorado Award for Outstanding Latino Faculty Member, the Woman of Excellence Award, the Excellence in Service to CSN Award and she was part of the inaugural class for the CSN Executive Leadership Institute program. Ms. Cota completed the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Las Vegas Program and has served as an Executive Board Member for the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada. Selected to participate in the 2021 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship.