Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs - REVISED DEADLINE

Job description

Job Title: Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs - REVISED DEADLINE
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 13633
Job Code: 3300 Administrator IV
Job Grade: Range A
Department: Office Of The Provost  

California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), one of 23 campuses within the California State University system, seeks a dynamic, experienced academic leader to serve as its next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Reporting to the President, and working in collaboration with senior leadership, faculty, students, and staff, the Provost will help Fresno State provide learning opportunities, student access and success, and build upon strong and diverse academic programs, research, and teaching. As the needs of California’s Central Valley rapidly evolve and regional and state demand for an educated workforce is on the rise, this position represents an exciting opportunity to help shape this leading comprehensive university during a critical period of growth.

Today, more than 25,000 students attend the 388-acre main campus, located at the northeast edge of Fresno, California, at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range. A dynamic, community-engaged university, Fresno State serves a diverse student body: more than half of its student population comes from underrepresented groups; and as of Fall 2017, 68% of undergraduate students were first-generation college attendees. Fresno State’s mission is to embrace a culture of diversity, discovery, and distinction, making student success a number one priority. Service learning and rich general education offerings serve as the foundation for academic affairs in a liberal arts education. The campus also embraces student “learning by doing” via research collaborations with faculty and innovative approaches to integration of teaching and research. Community service is a hallmark of the Fresno State experience; the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning program promotes the value of community service to students, faculty, and staff. Agriculture is the dominant industry in the region, and Fresno State has developed deep connections with its farming community, both through the students it serves and the programs it offers. The Jordan Agricultural Research Center (JARC) provides space for innovative and collaborative interdisciplinary research at the interface of science and mathematics, engineering, and agriculture. There are many opportunities for faculty and students across colleges to address societal challenges in food, water, energy, health, sustainability and the environment; all of these challenges are significant to the Central Valley and mirror national and global concerns. The campus is home to a 1,000-acre teaching farm, containing numerous permanent and annual crops and livestock. The University operates the first commercially bonded winery on a U.S. university campus, with student-produced wines winning hundreds of awards in tasting competitions against some of the world’s best known vintages. The Central California economy represents great opportunity for the people of California, and Fresno State is a leader in sparking innovation and positive change for the region.

Fresno State is nationally recognized for providing transformational education that ripples out to improve the quality of life across the region and beyond. The next Provost will have the opportunity to lead an ascendant university on the verge of significant growth that will positively impact the lives of its students and the citizens of the Central Valley. In doing so, the Provost will address the following key opportunities and challenges:

  • Champion Fresno State’s mission of academic excellence and access
  • Provide trusted leadership for the faculty
·Connect a vibrant campus life to the academic experience through continuous improvement of support structures and high impact practices
  • Foster an inclusive and collaborative environment for personal and professional relationships at all levels

A list of the desired qualifications and characteristics of the Provost can be found at the conclusion of this document, which was prepared by the search committee with the assistance of Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm. This document provides background information and details the key opportunities and challenges related to the position. All confidential applications, inquiries, and nominations should be directed to the parties listed at the conclusion of this document.

About California State University, Fresno

Founded in 1911 as Fresno State Normal School, Fresno State became a teacher's college in 1921 and has offered advanced degrees since 1949. Fresno State’s faculty is the ninth largest in the CSU system and ranks fourth in grant and contract production. Of a total 1,538 faculty members, 635 are tenured and tenure-track and 903 are non-tenure-track. Over 300 tenured and tenure-track faculty have been hired since 2013. In addition to 66 undergraduate degrees, Fresno State offers 44 graduate degrees, including an educational specialist degree and three doctoral degrees. The University is comprised of eight colleges: College of Arts and Humanities; College of Health and Human Services; College of Science and Mathematics; College of Social Sciences; Craig School of Business; Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology; Kremen School of Education and Human Development; and Lyles College of Engineering. The campus is also home to University High School, one of the nation's top-ranked public charter schools.

Over the past two decades, Fresno State has attained new levels of excellence as a result of significant growth in academic programming, including the establishment of an honors college and numerous new institutes and research centers. Fresno State has been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), an Asian American/Native American/Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), and has been awarded a Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University also dramatically increased support from private sources as well as sponsored program grants. An athletics powerhouse, the Fresno State Bulldogs’ entry into the Mountain West Conference enabled significant expansion of intercollegiate athletic opportunities and facilities. Most notable was the construction of Save Mart Center, a 16,000-seat sports and performance venue that is home to Fresno State’s men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and volleyball programs.

The University is accredited by the California Board of Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It has 26 nationally accredited departmental programs, among the highest number within the CSU system. Fresno State has been recognized four times in four years by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), winning the Leadership Development and Diversity Award and the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award in 2014. In 2015, the University won the International Education Award for its work to expand international recruitment of faculty and students and to increase study abroad opportunities, and in 2017, won the Student Success and College Completion Award in recognition of its accomplishments as part of the California State University Graduation Initiative 2025. Washington Monthly has consistently ranked Fresno State as one of the top 25 universities in the country for the past three years.

The California State University (CSU) is the largest, most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the nation, with over 52,000 faculty and staff serving approximately 484,300 students. Since its creation in 1961, the CSU has awarded over 3.4 million degrees, nearly 120,000 annually. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. The CSU is committed to excellence, diversity and innovation. Collective bargaining agreements are negotiated system-wide for faculty and staff employees.


Dr. Joseph I. Castro was appointed Fresno State’s eighth president on August 1, 2013, the first Central Valley native to serve in this leadership position. Since his arrival, he has launched the President’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture which resulted in a formal report and ongoing community dialogue to ensure economic viability of the region. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Central Valley Promise. The Central Valley Promise guarantees a path to college for students in the Central San Joaquin Valley. It ensures if students and their parents pledge to do what it take in middle and high school to prepare, college will be there for them. President Castro has also made it his mission to address the holistic student experience, from helping create the Food Security Project, providing resources for the more than one-third of Fresno State students who experience food insecurity, to driving a tablet initiative called DISCOVERe which allows undergraduate and graduate students to learn using the latest tablet technology in disciplines that span across all of the colleges at Fresno State. Under his leadership, he has mobilized the university to identify strategic priorities and surge ahead with Graduation Initiative 2025, with results that have raised the graduation rate from 48 percent to over 58 percent over the 6-year graduation period. In 2018, President Castro was named as CSU President of the Year by the California State Student Assocation.

Graduation Initiative 2025

Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI2025) is the CSU’s ambitious initiative to increase graduation rates for all its students, while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. Through this initiative, the CSU will ensure that all students have the opportunity to graduate in a timely manner according to their personal goals, positively impacting their future and producing the graduates needed to power California and the nation.

To align with GI2025, Fresno State has identified four strategic priorities which aim to provide a transformative educational experience that prepares students to serve and to lead in the Central Valley, the state, and beyond while improving the overall graduation rate:

  • Enhance teaching and learning through best practices, innovative programs, and high-impact experiences that attract talented and diverse students and contribute to retention, extraordinary learning, the development of the whole student, and lifelong success.
  • Invest in a dynamic environment to attract, develop, and retain talented and diverse faculty and staff.
  • Align our physical and technological infrastructure to support a sustainable and welcoming campus environment.
  • Grow and develop collaborative and engaged community partnerships to increase support for students and the University.

For more information about Fresno State’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020, see

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Position SummaryRole of the Provost

The Provost is the chief academic officer of Fresno State overseeing all academic programs, including instruction and research, and providing leadership for academic administrative operations. The Provost has principal responsibility for the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of all academic programs, policies, and supporting infrastructure, including facilities and information technology. The Provost ensures academic excellence through the recruitment and retention of world-class faculty, as well as through rigorous review of faculty for tenure and promotion. The Provost is also responsible for the planning, quality, and delivery of the education provided to Fresno State’s students. The Provost carries out these responsibilities with appropriate consultation and collaboration with the campus Academic Senate under the university’s shared governance model.

Reporting directly to the President and serving as a member of his cabinet, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will work collaboratively with cabinet members[1], the Academic Senate, deans, faculty, staff, and students to advance strategic goals across the University’s campus. The Provost will: provide academic and administrative leadership for Fresno State’s eight colleges; guide and support these units in their teaching, research, and service missions; and provide accountability as it relates to accreditation and the assessment of learning outcomes. Positions reporting to the Provost include: Vice Provost; Associate Vice Presidents of Faculty Affairs, Academic and Institutional Effectiveness, and Water and Sustainability; Deans of the eight schools and colleges, Henry Madden Library, Undergraduate Studies, Research & Graduate Studies, Continuing & Global Education, and Fresno State Visalia Campus; and Directors of the Maddy Institute and University Initiatives.[2]

The Provost serves as the President’s leading senior executive for day-to-day campus operations and makes decisions on behalf of the President when the President is not available. The Provost also plays an important role as an advocate for the academic mission among external constituents, including business partners, funding agencies, prospective students, alumni, and donors. The Provost will work collaboratively with the President and Vice President for Advancement on major comprehensive fundraising activities. Additionally, the Provost will work collaboratively with the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to address issues of access and to bolster student success.

In carrying out these broad duties, the Provost faces several key opportunities and challenges, as detailed below.

Key Opportunities and Challenges for the ProvostChampion Fresno State’s mission of academic excellence and access

First and foremost, the Provost must uphold Fresno State’s identity as the primary institution of higher education serving California’s Central Valley. As the academic leader of an institution closely tied to the needs of the local community and charged with providing the best academic programs to the region, the Provost will work closely in collaboration with the President, other senior leaders, and the faculty to enable the University to fulfill its mission to best serve its students, faculty, and alumni. In alignment with the strategic priorities of GI2025, the Provost will engage in extensive dialogue with stakeholders and coalesce their energy into guiding principles that foster a supportive academic atmosphere, active learning and research, diversity, stewardship of natural, human, and financial resources, and a sincere commitment to academic excellence.

There is significant need for a regional university able to provide wide-ranging educational opportunities in an environment experiencing rapid demographic change. The Provost will therefore be charged with building the University’s reputation and market niche on a foundation of its key themes of Discovery, Diversity, and Distinction. The Provost will lead the faculty in preparing students for an increasingly multicultural future by providing a holistic, well-rounded education. The Provost will guide the development of programs and build quality assessment measures in all academic and academically related programs. Experience with accreditation and assessment in support of the accreditation process will be paramount as the campus deepens its commitment to develop a culture of excellence in all academic areas.

The Provost will also think strategically about the region and navigate the University’s external interface with the local community, considering ways for the University’s programs to adapt to growth and change in regional industries. When the President cannot be present, the Provost will act as trusted second-in-command and highest ranking leader, who ensures that the University’s priorities and concerns are deftly represented both within the University and externally with community members and alumni.

Provide trusted leadership for the faculty

The Provost will lead the faculty by example with a strong track record of scholarship and effective teaching, which will help provide mentorship for junior faculty and inspire senior faculty. The Provost will equitably and transparently allocate resources among colleges/schools, departments, and faculty to support collaboration, innovations in teaching, and faculty scholarship, including exploration of new avenues for funding research, especially when students are included in that research. The Provost will work to streamline the operations of the Office of Faculty Affairs to better support faculty across the University.

The Provost’s role is key in Fresno State’s system of shared governance. By interacting regularly with the faculty through its primary consultative body, the Academic Senate, and its standing committees, the Provost will work to address the needs and concerns of faculty, and incorporate them when moving initiatives forward. The Provost must be an accessible, inspirational leader who serves as primary advocate for the University’s academic mission, convening constituents across campus in pursuit of common goals and modeling both consultative and decisive leadership. It will be essential to foster productive relationships with other cabinet members to advocate on behalf of the academic affairs units, academic administrators, and faculty and to link faculty work with student success initiatives. The Provost will promote cross-level and cross-disciplinary communication clarifying roles, policies, and responsibilities to best serve students and educators alike.

Connect a vibrant campus life to the academic experience through continuous improvement of support structures and high impact practices

The Provost will have a highly visible presence at events across campus and serve as an ardent supporter of the many facets of student life. With strong collaboration and partnership with Student Affairs and other units across the University, the Provost will play a key role in campus efforts to handle rising enrollment by strengthening institutional support and working creatively to solve problems of impaction, student readiness, career preparation, student engagement, and keeping students on track towards graduation. Since a significant number of students remain in the Valley after graduation, the Provost will also be responsible for making sure students graduate with the life skills and career-preparatory experiences needed to thrive in this region.

Drawing on experience in program development, the Provost will develop initiatives to support faculty scholarship, as well as help faculty develop measures to assess student academic achievement. This will include identifying, developing, and utilizing the latest technological innovations to better develop academic programs, gather feedback from students and faculty, and contribute to strengthening data-informed decision making, which includes the use of University library resources to serve as a hub for campus technological innovation.

Foster an inclusive and collaborative environment for personal and professional relationships at all levels

The Provost will lead by example by continuing to sustain Fresno State as a caring and respectful workplace and learning environment for faculty, students, and staff. This includes fostering the collaborative and collegial relationships necessary for achieving the campus’s GI2025 goals. The Provost will serve as an advocate for inclusive excellence and cultural competency, inside and outside the classroom, embracing and promoting diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and programs. This will often require the Provost to demonstrate and model courage and empathy, finding solutions which ensure all constituents to feel safe, heard, and supported. For additional information on the University's commitment to diversity, visit

[1] The cabinet is comprised of the Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for University Advancement, University Counsel, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Chief Information Officer, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Chief of Staff, Executive Director of Governmental Relations, Director of Athletics, and Director of University Communications.

[2] To see an organizational chart for Academic Affairs, please visit

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QualificationsThe ideal candidate will bring a record of scholarly and administrative achievement reflective of Fresno State’s own standards of excellence, coupled with personal integrity of the highest order. While no one candidate may possess all of them, the successful candidate will bring many of the following qualifications and attributes:
  • A distinguished record in teaching and scholarship, with the appropriate terminal degree to warrant appointment as a professor with tenure in one of the University’s academic units; PhD strongly preferred.
  • A successful track record of administration and leadership in higher education as shown by a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience at a level above Department Chair; experience as a Dean is preferred.
  • A track record of advocating for faculty with a passionate commitment to academic excellence and implementing innovative strategies that enhance research, grant, and contract activity.
  • Understanding the complexity of emerging opportunities present in a comprehensive University environment, and the ability to work effectively in a consultative management setting within the framework of traditional academic self-governance and the collective bargaining environment.
  • Proven commitment to shared governance and an openness to collaborative relationships with students, faculty, staff, and administrators within a unionized environment, promoting teamwork at all levels.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the professional development of faculty and staff, as well as ensuring campus programs and services support student learning objectives and promote academic success.
  • Knowledge about managing complex budgets and allocating resources with a high level of transparency and fairness.
  • Strategic and data-driven thinking with experience in assessment and outcomes measurements as well as accreditation efforts.
  • Clear understanding of and willingness to learn innovative methods and instructional technologies that support faculty and students at a large public university;
  • Meaningful commitment to and demonstrated accomplishment in issues around inclusiveness, equity, and diversity, incorporating them into the daily operations of the organization and embedding them as learning outcomes in academic instruction and research.
  • Ability to develop and promote positive public relationships with appropriate groups at local, state, national, and international levels, and to articulate the mission of the University to diverse public constituencies.
  • Courage to take principled positions and navigate politically challenging situations with the ability to understand, connect with, and inspire individuals from all walks of life.
  • Superb communication skills, both the written and spoken word, and the ability to collaborate and work constructively with other University leaders, developing partnerships with other divisions on campus to further the mission of the institution.
  • Honesty, integrity, enthusiasm, resilience, humility, and a sense of humor.
Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

Fresno State has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. The search committee will review nominations and applications until the position is filled. To be considered an eligible candidate, a formal application with detailed curriculum vitae and cover letter is required to be submitted via Fresno State’s job site at Nominations and inquiries can be submitted via the Isaacson, Miller website at

Compensation and Location

Salary is commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected. Fresno State offers excellent fringe benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, participation in the Public Employees' Retirement System and educational benefits for eligible employees and immediate family members. All rights associated with the appointment are governed by the Management Personnel Plan adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees.

The University is located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range. The surrounding valley is one of the richest agricultural areas in the world, and Fresno is the fifth largest city in California. The University is within an hour's drive of many mountain and lake resorts, including Yosemite, Kings and Sequoia National Parks, and within a three hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Filing Deadline

Applications received by January 21, 2019 will be reviewed for minimum qualifications and given full consideration by the hiring manager and/or search committee. Qualified applicants received after that date will be forwarded upon request to the hiring manager and/or search committee.

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Application Procedures

Individuals interested in being considered for this position should submit an on-line application and attach the following supporting documents: 1) resume, 2) letter of interest which includes a narrative detailing how the candidate fulfills each of the required and preferred items listed under Qualifications, and 3) names, email addresses and telephone numbers of three references who can provide current assessments of the candidate's qualifications for the position.

Pursuant to Executive Order 883, reasonable accommodation is to be provided upon request from an employee or applicant with disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the campus. What constitutes a reasonable accommodation is to be determined by the campus on a case-by-case basis after it has received the individual's request for accommodation and engaged in an interactive process. Employees or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation should contact Human Resources directly at (559) 278-2032.

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How To Apply

To apply for this or any open position at Fresno State visit our online employment site at:

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Other Requirements

Pursuant to the requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, any offer of employment is contingent upon verification of individual's eligibility to be employed in the United States.

California State University, Fresno, in conjunction with the CSU policy, requires that the successful candidate complete a full background check (including a criminal records check) prior to assuming this position. Failure to satisfactorily complete or pass the background check may impact the job offer or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for posted positions identified as sensitive.

California State University, Fresno annual security report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Fresno State, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to or accessible from the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, alcohol/drug use, crime prevention, reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting the Campus Police Department or by accessing the following web site:

The person holding this position is considered a "mandated reporter" under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 Revised July 21, 2017 as a condition of employment. You can obtain a copy of this Executive order by accessing the following web site:

This position may be a "designated position" in the California State University's Conflict of Interest Code. The successful candidate accepting this position may be required to file Conflict of Interest forms subject to the regulations of the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Fresno State is a tobacco-free, smoke-free and vapor-free campus.

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Other Applicant Information

Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their application materials via automatic email reply. In addition, qualified applicants will receive email notification at the conclusion of the recruitment process.

This is a full-time management position covered by the California State University Management Personnel Plan. Under this plan, employees are subject to management reviews and serve at the pleasure of the University President of that campus.

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Equal Employment Opportunity

California State University, Fresno is committed to maintaining and implementing employment policies and procedures in compliance with applicable state and federal equal employment opportunity laws and regulations. Executive Order 883 prohibits discrimination and Executive Order 927 prohibits harassment, on the basis of a protected status: race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex (including gender identity, per HR 2004-12), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition and covered veteran status. Retaliation against individuals for complaining about these proscribed conduct, opposing such conduct, or participating in an investigation or proceeding involving such conduct is prohibited by both executive orders.

Further, California State University, Fresno's statement of commitment to equal employment opportunity principles is also found in the various collective bargaining agreements.

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Job No:
Posted: 12/25/2018
Application Due: 4/13/2019
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