About the Provost and the
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Kathleen Enz Finken
Kathleen Enz Finken joined California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2012. She brings broad academic and administrative experience to her position as the senior member of the President’s executive management staff. Enz Finken served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from 2008-2012. From 2002-2008 she was Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and from 2000-2002 she was chair of the university’s Department of Art and Design. She began her faculty career as a professor of Art History at the Minnesota campus in 1993. Enz Finken earned her BA from Douglass College for Women, and MA and PhD from Rutgers University. Her expertise is the art and architecture of the Roman Empire and Early Christian Rome.
Enz Finken has a strong history of service to state university systems and communities, serving on statewide committees as well as numerous boards and task forces devoted to the visual and performing arts, financial sustainability, economic development, technology transfer, education, information technology, housing, and healthcare. In 2011 she was awarded the Burt and Norma Altman Award for Leadership in International Education at UW-La Crosse. At MSU Moorhead, she received both the Academic Affairs Excellence in Service to the University Award (2007) and the Academic Affairs Excellence in Teaching Award (2003). As a faculty member, Enz Finken participated in archaeological excavations in Cyprus and led study tours to Italy and the United Kingdom. She participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on Ancient Roman Religion at the American Academy in Rome, and served as a member of the American Council on Education Internationalization Collaborative Advisory Council.
Enz Finken is a highly effective administrator and takes pride in developing and promoting people and ideas, leading periods of growth and change, solving problems and removing barriers to success. A strong believer in the power of hands-on learning and the value of interdisciplinary academic endeavors, Enz Finken aims to enhance Cal Poly’s distinctive approach to teaching by creating learning environments that prepare students to be successful, responsible members of this 21st century’s “community of the world.”
Enz Finken and her husband, Gerald, have two sons and five grandchildren.