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Office of the Provost

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore

Provost Responsibilities

proh-vohst n. [Middle English, from Old English profost and Old French provost, both from Medieval Latin propositus, alternative of praepositus from Latin praepositus “one in charge, director,” from past participle of praeponere, “to place at the head”]

  1. the chief dignitary of a collegiate or cathedral chapter
  2. the chief magistrate of a Scottish burgh
  3. a high-ranking university administrative officer

The Provost at Cal Poly is the chief academic officer of the University, and is responsible to the President for the formulation and implementation of academic plans, policies, priorities, and for the allocation of resources to carry these matters forward.

Each of Cal Poly's six academic college deans reports to Mary Pedersen, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.  In addition to the academic college deans, a number of other departments report to her. They are:

  • Research and Economic Development
  • International, Graduate and Extended Education
  • Library Services 
  • Academic Programs and Planning
  • Academic Personnel
  • Institutional Research
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Admissions
  • Financial Aid
  • University Advising 

In her role as the Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, she works closely with the other divisions of the University – Administration and Finance (e.g., the University budget, and capital projects and planning), Student Affairs (e.g., the linkage between the students’ academic life and co-curricular activities, student success, and student progress to degree), and University Development (e.g., the campus' fund raising efforts and the University’s vital program of university philanthropy), ensuring the close association of these divisions with Academic Affairs and their relationship with the academic programs and students of the University.

Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, Interim Provost Pedersen led the completion of the Academic Affairs Strategic Plan and outlined her goals for the academic year. These two documents can be accessed below.

Academic Affairs Strategic Plan

Interim Provost Pedersen's Priorities for 2019-2020



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