A veteran administrator with a background in innovative teaching methods and an affinity for the work of the University Innovation Alliance has been named to lead UC Riverside’s Office of Undergraduate Education.
Jennifer Brown will join UCR on August 1 as vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education. She comes to UCR from Oregon State University, where she has been vice provost and dean of the Graduate School since April 2016. She is also a professor of horticulture, and was associate dean of the Graduate School at Oregon State.
Earlier in her career, Brown served as the founding director of distance learning at Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, where she led the vision for developing online programs.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive said Brown’s experience “will help advance the mission of Undergraduate Education and solidify UCR’s reputation as a national model of the student-centered research university.”
“Jennifer Brown has an enthusiasm for working with students and a collaborative management style that will make her effective as UCR’s vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Education,” Larive said. “She shares UCR’s commitment to providing equitable access to higher education and research opportunities, and to continuing to improve graduation rates for students from all backgrounds.”
Brown said she was drawn to UCR by its “national reputation for diversity,” and its participation in the 11-member University Innovation Alliance, or UIA, which seeks to graduate more students of color, and students from low-income and first-generation families. Brown said she recently attended the UIA national summit in Atlanta with Oregon State, which is also a member of the organization.
“Being a person of color, I’ve wanted to work with a diverse student population. I wanted to contribute and work with folks who are already making the difference in access,” said Brown, who as a teen in Chicago participated in Upward Bound, a federally funded program now under the TRIO umbrella that aims to boost college attendance for at-risk high school students.
Brown said her experience with Upward Bound informs her passion for helping at-risk students navigate their unique obstacles to graduation. She advocates for predictive analytics and a proactive advising network.
Brown received her Ph.D. in horticulture from Michigan State University in 2004. A focus of her research has been supply-chain demand and consumer preferences, and she has been the author or co-author of 35 papers published in peer-reviewed journals.
Since March 2017, Richard Cardullo has served as the interim vice provost of Undergraduate Education, providing undergraduate students with academic support, research, and engaged learning opportunities and advancing UCR’s mission of student success. He will continue as the faculty director of University Honors.