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Associate Provost for Academic Innovation & Programs

Apply now Job no: 537024
Work type: Management (MPP)
Location: San Luis Obispo
Categories: MPP, Administrative, At-Will, Full Time, On-site (work in-person at business location)
Position Description


California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) seeks a creative leader who cares deeply about students to serve as its Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Programs (Associate Provost). The Associate Provost for Academic Innovation and Programs will join the Cal Poly community at an opportune time for new ideas and expansion as the institution advances student access and success efforts to meet institutional and California State University system goals. The university will simultaneously be experiencing many transitions as they plan for year-round operations and convert from a quarter to semester calendar starting in the 2026-2027 academic year. These initiatives, along with Cal Poly’s continued commitment to innovation for increased prominence, provide ample opportunity for assessing current programming and initiatives while also encouraging academic programming innovation, growth, and development.

The Associate Provost will provide leadership, strategic planning, and administrative oversight for the units within Academic Affairs that support academic innovation and programs, including the Office of Academic Programs and Planning, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology, International Education, University Honors Program, and the academic component of Service Learning. The Associate Provost will have the opportunity to build collaborative networks across the university in support of high-quality programming, assessment of student learning, degree completion, high-impact practices, general education, and the student academic experience. Guided by Cal Poly’s renowned Learn by Doing philosophy, the Associate Provost will drive initiatives that will advance Cal Poly’s commitment to innovation and inclusive excellence. 

Job Summary


Reporting to the Senior Vice Provost, and overseeing a broad portfolio of units, the Associate Provost identifies and realizes strategic priorities related to academic innovations and programs while providing dynamic and engaged leadership that facilitates the management of specific programs, initiatives, projects, and emerging opportunities. The Associate Provost serves as a leader in longer-term planning of academic programs, quality of instruction, and furthering the university’s strategic plan and the goals and objectives of Academic Affairs. The Associate Provost serves as a thought partner on existing or emerging academic innovation strategies and opportunities. Principles of and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion guide the Associate Provost’s work in all areas. 

The Associate Provost provides leadership, strategic planning, and administrative oversight for academic program planning, management of academic program reviews, program accreditations, certifications, and the university's regional accreditation, including oversight of the approval process and assistance to colleges and departments in the development of all degree and certificate program proposals. They also develop and implement academic program policies consistent with CSU Chancellor's Office and campus requirements, as well as CSU accountability reporting, and are in charge of reviewing student academic petitions based on academic policies. 


An earned doctorate or terminal degree and academic accomplishments appropriate for the rank of at least Associate Professor with tenure are required. The successful candidate will also bring eight or more years of progressive, responsible academic experience in a regionally accredited institution of higher education. Candidates are also expected to have many of the following skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  • Strong knowledge of and creativity in addressing contemporary curricular issues related to outcomes-based, student-centered learning; program- and institution-level assessment and accountability;
  • Knowledge and experience with hybrid and fully online learning;
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and student success, and the ability to work effectively with the various academic leaders across Cal Poly to achieve university-wide objectives;
  • A record of facilitating a consultation process regarding academic matters and policies, such as with an academic or faculty senate; successful experience collaborating with faculty and staff in the design and implementation of academic programs;
  • Ability to exercise good judgment, discretion, sensitivity, and reason in fulfilling responsibilities;
  • Demonstrated ability to investigate and analyze problems while developing imaginative and innovative solutions; ability to negotiate and resolve highly sensitive and complex problems and/or issues;
  • Evidence of a strong commitment to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education;
  • Expert human relations, communication, and interpersonal skills, including strong consultative skills conducive to building and maintaining positive relations with faculty, department chairs, deans, administrators, staff, and other members of the campus community and the California State University system office (Office of the Chancellor); demonstrated commitment to shared governance and ability to develop cooperative working arrangements at all levels of a university;
  • Successful innovation and/or change management experience;
  • Demonstrated ability to prepare and analyze complex reports and make effective presentations;
  • Experience interpreting, communicating, and applying policies and procedures.

Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and will continue until the completion of the search process. Applicants should complete their applications and submit their CVs and cover letters directly with Cal Poly. Inquiries, nominations, and referrals should be sent to Isaacson, Miller via their website for the search.  Electronic submission of materials is required. 

Salary and Benefits

The anticipated salary range for the position is $180,000 - $200,000. Cal Poly is located in San Luis Obispo, California, a coastal city hallway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The San Luis Obispo community is nestled close to the Pacific Ocean, has a population of over 46,000, and is an area with an extraordinary quality of life and a temperate, Mediterranean climate that is comfortable year-round. The economy is based largely on agriculture and tourism and the region is known for producing world-class wine. 

Cal Poly offers a best-in-class benefits program, including health, dental and vision insurance, retirement participation in the Public Employees' Retirement System, and educational benefits for eligible employees. See our benefits website for additional information. 

Cal Poly

Cal Poly is a nationally-ranked public university located in San Luis Obispo, California, and known for its Learn by Doing philosophy. Each year more than 20,000 top-tier students come to San Luis Obispo to put knowledge into action, taking their learning outside the classroom as they prepare for careers in engineering, agriculture, science, business, humanities and the built environment. Cal Poly’s hands-on philosophy, small class sizes and close student-faculty mentorships result in graduates ready from day one to impact their communities, California and the world. For more information, visit

Diversity Statement

At Cal Poly, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly's values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

Cal Poly's commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. Cal Poly is an equal opportunity employer. 

Supplemental Information

Following a conditional offer of employment, a background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate may start work with Cal Poly. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may result in the withdrawal of the offer of employment. Current employees who are offered positions on campus will be required to undergo a background check for any position where a background check is required by law or that Cal Poly has designated as sensitive.

The person holding this position is considered a 'mandated reporter' under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment.

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo is not a sponsoring agency for staff positions (i.e. H-1B visas).

Positions are posted for a minimum of 14 calendar days.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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