After national search, Julia Chinyere Oparah, currently provost and dean of the faculty at Mills College, will join USF on July 12
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Julia Chinyere Oparah, the provost and dean of the faculty at Mills College and a scholar in the field of ethnic studies, has been named provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of San Francisco. Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., president of USF, made the announcement today.
A professor of ethnic studies at Mills, Oparah served as a member of the faculty for almost 20 years before being named provost and dean of the faculty in 2017. She will begin her work at USF on July 12, succeeding Tyrone H. Cannon, who has served as interim provost since February 2020.
"Our community has identified a leader in higher education with extraordinary scholarly, administrative, and service credentials to lead USF as provost," said Fr. Fitzgerald. "I am delighted to welcome Provost Oparah and her family to USF, and I look forward to working with her as a partner in mission while we continue to build on the planning and implementation that has taken place across campus during this challenging year of the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Provost Oparah rose to the top of a deep and distinguished pool of candidates," said USF's Interim Provost Cannon, who chaired the search committee. "In both her scholarship and administrative decisions, she has exhibited a deep commitment to collaboration and partnership, gender and racial equity, global social justice, and the transformative power of education."
"I am both deeply honored and excited to serve the USF community as its next provost," Oparah said. "I have long admired USF's commitment to equity and social justice, and consider USF's distinctive Jesuit educational principles — particularly cura personalis, care of the whole person — as central to what USF does so well in educating students who will, as the university promises, 'change the world from here'."
As Mills' provost, Oparah led all dimensions of the college's academic, research, scholarly, and creative programs. Major initiatives during her tenure included the development and implementation of the Mills Promise Program, supporting students' transition to college; establishing guaranteed pathways for transfers; the first fully online master's degree, in educational leadership; and the joint UC Berkeley-Mills engineering program. She worked with deans and department heads to diversify revenue streams through new graduate programs; reached untapped markets through online program development; improved retention through a signature undergraduate experience; co-led the transgender initiative, which led to Mills becoming the first women's college to adopt a trans-inclusive admissions policy; and increased the proportion of Black and Latinx students by introducing new programs in health equity, socially responsible business administration, communication, and critical education studies. She also worked to support the Indigenous community by establishing the American Indian Initiative to support recruitment efforts and introducing the first Native American Elder-in-Residence to the faculty.
Before arriving at Mills, Oparah worked in nonprofit administration, taught within the University of California system, and served as Canada research chair in social justice at the University of Toronto. Widely published, her work includes Global Lockdown: Race, Gender and the Prison-Industrial Complex, which explores globalization, gender, and mass incarceration; and Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth, a key text in midwifery, reproductive health, and women's studies classrooms.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, raised in the south of England, and with roots in southeast Nigeria, she earned doctoral and master's degrees (in sociology and race and ethnic studies, respectively) at the University of Warwick. She also holds master's and bachelor's degrees in modern and medieval languages and literature from University of Cambridge.
About the University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco is a private, Jesuit Catholic university that reflects the diversity, optimism, and opportunities of the city that surrounds it. USF offers more than 230 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, law, education, and nursing and health professions. At USF, each course is an intimate learning community in which top professors encourage students to turn learning into positive action, so the students graduate equipped to do well in the world — and inspired to change it for the better. For more information, visit usfca.edu.
SOURCE University of San Francisco