Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore has been named as Cal Poly’s new Provost and Executive Vice President, starting August 3.

In an email to the Cal Poly community, President Jeffrey Armstrong announced the end to the provost search after former Provost and Executive Vice President Kathleen Enz Finken retired in June 2019.

From July 1, 2019, Mary Pedersen served as interim provost and Executive Vice President for the university while the decision process took place. 

Jackson-Elmoore was one of four finalist candidates, joined by Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at San Jose State University Carl Kemintz, Associate Vice President for Academic Operations at the Cal State University Fullerton Karyn Scissum and Professor of American Studies and Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education at University of California Davis Carolyn Thomas. 

Previously, Jackson-Elmoore was Dean of the Honors College at Michigan State University (MSU). At MSU, she also served as a professor of social work and in the global urban studies program, according to the MSU Honors College. She is also currently the Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Urban Affairs.

Jackson-Elmoore earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in public administration from the University of Southern California. Before her career higher education, she was a process engineer at a manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania. 

As an educator, the incoming provost has taught courses in public policy processes and analysis, urban politics and social welfare policy and services. 

[Pedersen’s] steady hand and unwavering commitment to Cal Poly and student success have helped to maintain academic excellence and access to education for all students in the midst of this crisis,” Armstrong wrote.

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