Provost James Strong Returns to Classroom

Sept. 12, 2016

Announcement regarding James Strong, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dear Campus Community,

It is with great respect that I accept the resignation of James T. Strong from his position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective December 31. He has decided to return to the classroom as a professor in the Department of Management, Operations and Marketing and to have more time to care for his family.

Jim has been a standout administrative leader for more than 18 years, having built an outstanding reputation before coming to Stan State. He was an associate dean at the University of Akron for five years, a dean at California State University, Dominguez Hills for nearly seven years and has been Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stanislaus State for more than six years.

He led the University in initiatives to improve working relations between administration and the faculty, laying the groundwork for a revived campus climate that emphasized transparency and communication. "Jim has been a steady hand on the rudder of our academic ship, helping the University find its way through very difficult times, internally and externally, to far smoother and sunnier waters," said Stuart Sims, Speaker of the Faculty and Chair of the Academic Senate. Following the WASC Fall 2014 Special Visit, the team reported, "The campus atmosphere has moved from one featuring animosity and conflict to one punctuated by reasonable levels of trust and collaboration."

He restructured and revitalized the Student Success Committee, provided leadership to the Strategic Plan Working Group and created the Enrollment Management Committee. He led efforts to rebuild enrollment at the Stockton Center and has been the key leader in the planning that enables the University to serve the needs of an ever-increasing student population.

Jim has prioritized the hiring of tenure-track faculty, supporting the hiring of more than 130 tenure-track faculty in six years. He co-chaired the University Budget Advisory Committee, assisting senior leadership through substantial and difficult budget cuts in 2010-13.

During his tenure, Stanislaus State received a series of national accolades including recognition for being among the top five universities in the nation for improving upward mobility; as a top university in value-added; and for being among the top thirteen 4-year public institutions with large Pell recipient student populations to have high first-time freshmen 6-year graduation rates.

In addition to all of his efforts focused specifically on our campus, Jim provided leadership and support to increase contact, connection, and communication between the University and our regional educational partners.

These are just a few highlights of the accomplishments that Jim has achieved for the benefit of our entire campus community during his time as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. I could certainly go on for many pages.

Jim is appreciated by his colleagues for his sense of humor, candor, kindness and passion for student engagement and success. He is the longest-serving Provost in the CSU, and he has built many strong partnerships across departments and divisions. "For the last several years, Provost Strong has been an integral part of rebuilding trust and a sense of community at Stanislaus State," said Steven Filling, immediate past chair of the Academic Senate. "His loyalty to our mission and our University and his willingness to persevere through some very challenging times demonstrates his enduring commitment to public higher education and to our community."

The campus will initiate a national search this fall for a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to join the campus in January for the spring semester.

We'd like to honor Jim by hosting a campus wide reception in his honor in December. An announcement will follow later this semester.

Please join with me in thanking Jim for his immeasurable service to the University.

Sincerely,
Ellen Junn