Office of the President

Dr. Jennifer Brown Appointed as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

To:      Cal Poly Pomona students, faculty and staff

From: Soraya M. Coley, President

Date:  January 25, 2022

RE:     Dr. Jennifer Brown Appointed as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Brown as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of Cal Poly Pomona, effective April 1, 2022. Dr. Brown’s appointment is the result of a national search that identified many outstanding candidates both within and external to the CSU. With her demonstrated commitment to student, faculty and staff success; record of leading innovations in digital teaching and learning; focus on access, equity and inclusive excellence; and her breadth of experience in interdisciplinary research and scholarship, Dr. Brown emerged as a clear and inspired choice to provide visionary leadership of our academic enterprise. 

Dr. Brown comes to Cal Poly Pomona from the University of California, Riverside (UCR), where she currently serves as Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education and Professor in the School of Public Policy. In this role, she is responsible for spearheading institutional student success efforts for UCR’s nearly 23,000 undergraduate students, including holistic outcomes-driven retention and persistence initiatives. Prior to joining UCR in 2018, Dr. Brown served as Vice Provost and Dean (2016 – 2018) and Associate Dean (2015 – 2016) of the Graduate School at Oregon State University.   

Dr. Brown began her faculty career at Purdue University in 2004, where she held a joint appointment in the Departments of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture & Agricultural Economics, and where she also served as the inaugural Director of Distance Education. Dr. Brown’s applied research program in sustainability and the specialty crop industry has been recognized nationally, resulting in her appointment to the National Agriculture Statistics Service Advisory Committee. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Horticulture with an emphasis in Marketing and Consumer Behavior from Michigan State University (2004). She also earned an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with an emphasis in agribusiness and survey methodology (2001) and a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture (1999), both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

While Dr. Brown will not fully assume the role of Provost until April 1, she will begin the process of learning about and consulting with our campus immediately. With several dean searches currently underway in the Colleges of Business Administration, Engineering, Environmental Design, and Education and Integrative Studies, Dr. Brown will have input into these critical leadership decisions. I want to thank Dr. Iris Levine, who will continue to serve as Interim Provost until Dr. Brown’s arrival and will assist in assuring a smooth transition of leadership in Academic Affairs as Dr. Brown joins Cal Poly Pomona.

I am especially grateful for the time, contributions and insights of the members of the search committee, and especially the leadership of Dr. Kemi Sawyerr, who served as chair. The search committee, listed below, worked swiftly and diligently to facilitate this consequential appointment:

  • Olukemi Sawyerr – AVP for Academic Innovation (Chair)
  • Mary Yu Danico – Professor, College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Lea Dopson – Dean, the Collins College of Hospitality Management
  • Diane Gonzalez – Administrative Operations Associate, Academic Affairs
  • Ruth Guthrie – Professor, College of Business Administration
  • Nicholas Lau – Senator, ASI
  • Kathryn McCulloch – Associate Professor, College of Science
  • John McGuthry – Vice President, Information Technology and Institutional Planning & CIO
  • Jocelyn Pacleb – Professor, College of Education and Integrative Studies and Chair, Academic Senate
  • Anna Soper – Assistant Professor, Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture
  • Zahra Sotoudeh – Assistant Professor, College of Engineering
  • Saccara Lim – Executive Assistant, Office of the President (Staff Support)

As we begin this new year and the spring semester, I hope you will join me in taking a moment to celebrate the recruitment of Dr. Jennifer Brown, whose leadership as Provost will be pivotal to defining Cal Poly Pomona’s bright future. I invite you to a special opportunity to meet Dr. Brown at a welcome event held in her honor on February 23, from noon to 2 p.m. (SSB MPR 1967/69).

Together with you, I look forward to welcoming Dr. Brown to our vibrant Bronco family and working with her to advance Cal Poly Pomona’s mission.