Magdalena L. Barrera

Magdalena Barrera HeadshotVice Provost for Faculty Success 

Phone: 408-924-2405


Dr. Magdalena L. Barrera is the inaugural Vice Provost for Faculty Success. In this role, she provides thought leadership for the division on all aspects of faculty recruitment, onboarding, and professional advancement within a Minority Serving Institution context. Her work is informed by a deep commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty who bring asset-minded pedagogies to the classroom. To that end, Dr. Barrera collaborates with the Assistant Vice Provost of Faculty Development, Senior Director for Faculty Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer, and other campus to deliver programming for all who participate in the faculty hiring and retention, tenure, and promotion processes. She also develops partnerships with key campus offices to facilitate data-informed decision-making and a shared sense of collective leadership at SJSU. Dr. Barrera also oversees the University’s Accessible Technology Initiative and Hispanic Serving Institution initiatives on behalf of the Office of the Provost.

Prior to entering this role, Dr. Barrera served as department chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies; Director of the Ethnic Studies Collaborative in the College of Social Sciences; Faculty-in-Residence for Diversifying the Faculty in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Faculty Fellow at the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center. She currently serves on the Committee on Faculty Affairs for the Association of Public & Land Grant Institutions and is in the 2023-24 cohort of the Becoming a Provost Academy, sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

A former first-generation student, Dr. Barrera holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. She began her faculty career at SJSU in 2008, following a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities program. She is the co-author of the Latinx Guide to Graduate School (Duke University Press, 2023), which provides historically underserved students with a roadmap for surviving and thriving in master’s and doctoral degree programs.