College of Arts and Sciences Dean Jennifer Turpin (left) will be USF's new provost beginning June 1, USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. (right), announced Feb. 17.
Jennifer E. Turpin, University of San Francisco dean of the
College of Arts and Sciences since 2003, has been selected as the university’s
Turpin, who previously served as associate dean for USF’s
College of Arts and Sciences in social sciences, succeeds James L. Wiser USF vice president for academic affairs since 1998 and provost since 1999. Turpin’s first day
on the job will be June 1.
Turpin was chosen after a nationwide search that brought
four finalists from across the country to take part in open interviews on
campus. USF President Stephen A. Privett S.J., praised the search committee,
chaired by law Professor Tim Iglesias, for its inclusive and participatory
approach to the process that included various departments.
USF’s provost is the chief academic officer of the
university and counts among his/her duties overseeing the recruitment and
retention of faculty, curriculum development, instilling USF’s values
characterized by a faith that does justice, directing the academic programs of
the university through the deans and colleges, overseeing admissions and
transfer policies, as well as student academic services, and budget planning.
Wiser plans to remain at USF as a faculty member of the politics
department, following a sabbatical.
Turpin first joined USF’s sociology faculty in 1991, after
receiving her doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas, Austin.
During her years as a faculty member at USF, she received USF’s Distinguished
Teaching Award, and the College Service Award. Turpin founded USF’s women’s
studies program, and was chair of the sociology department from 1995-97.
As dean she initiated new courses and programming, growing
the College of Arts and Sciences’ revenue by 81 percent over seven years.
Turpin impressed the provost search committee with her insider-knowledge of USF
and her drive to preside over continued improvements and innovations at USF, as
illustrated by her “First 100 Days as Provost” plan – which includes ideas for
expanding the role of USF’s regional campuses, developing three-year bachelor
of arts and bachelor of science options, and initiating the creation of a USF
Center for Teaching Excellence, and a USF Center for Research Excellence.
“I want to make USF into a ‘beacon’ of higher education, where we resist the standard
and tired, statistical indicators of distinction, and pioneer new measures of
academic excellence,” Turpin told search committee members during her
In congratulating Turpin, Fr. Privett praised the quality of
all of the candidates who applied for the provost’s job. “It only highlights
how fortunate we are to have selected Dean Turpin,” Fr. Privett said. ”We know
she is the best person.”
Turpin’s past scholarly research addresses the causes and
consequences of violence, the role of gender in warfare, the sociology of the
Cold War, and the impact of Russian media on the dissolution of the former
Soviet Union. She is the author of Reinventing the Soviet Self, and co-editor of The Web of Violence, The Women and War Reader, The Gendered New World Order, Rethinking Peace, and the three-volume Encyclopedia of
Violence, Peace and Conflict.
Turpin was the youngest scholar ever elected to lead the American Sociological Association's section on peace, war, and social conflict, as well as the Peace and Justice Studies Association.