Dear Bruin Community:

I am pleased to announce that Chandra Bhatnagar has been selected to serve as the inaugural assistant vice chancellor for civil rights within the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. He will start January 25, 2021.

In this capacity, Bhatnagar will oversee the newly formed Civil Rights Office, serve as the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and Affirmative Action Officer, and lead efforts to strengthen the campus’s civil rights investigation system. The Civil Rights Office, situated within the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, was created to coordinate all civil rights investigations involving academic personnel, faculty and staff and unify the campus’s existing investigatory capacities led by the Title IX Office, the Discrimination Prevention Office, and the Staff Diversity & Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) Compliance Office.

Bhatnagar formerly served as UCLA’s director of staff diversity and AA/EEO. In that role, Bhatnagar was responsible for overseeing investigations of discrimination and harassment complaints involving staff in the university and the UCLA Health System, and the development and implementation of UCLA’s staff affirmative action plan, programs to ensure equal employment opportunity for staff and educational efforts to advance staff diversity and inclusion throughout the university and the UCLA Health System.

Prior to joining UCLA in November 2017, Bhatnagar was the senior attorney advisor to Commissioner Jenny R. Yang of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). From 2015 to 2017, Bhatnagar served as senior attorney advisor to Commissioner Yang when she was Chair of the EEOC. Bhatnagar advised on a range of legal and policy matters including complex employment relationships, immigrant migrant and other vulnerable workers, LGBT discrimination, advancing diversity in law enforcement, labor trafficking and strategic communications. He previously served as a senior staff attorney in the Human Rights Program of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he spent a decade leading the program’s litigation and strategic policy advocacy on racial justice and immigrants’ rights issues and litigated human rights cases in domestic and international contexts. From 2002-2004, Bhatnagar was a staff attorney and Skadden Fellow with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, where he directed the South Asian Workers’ Project for Human Rights, a community-based project providing legal services to low-wage workers from South Asia.

Bhatnagar holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vassar College, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an LL.M. with a focus in international human rights law from Columbia Law School.

I wish to acknowledge and thank the search committee members led by committee chair, Carole Goldberg, the Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita and former vice chancellor for academic personnel:

Dean of Students Maria Blandizzi
Senior Counsel Tess Elconin
Pritzker Family Endowed Chair and Professor of Education Tyrone Howard
Professor of Law Sherod Thaxton
Senior Associate Dean of MBA Programs Miguel Unzueta

I am grateful to all who participated in the search process and for the support of Michael Yates and Noah Apodaca from Campus Human Resources.

Bhatnagar brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to civil rights and the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion. I am delighted to welcome him to this important leadership role that will benefit our UCLA community.


Anna Spain Bradley
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion