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UNC Appoints Interim Provost for 2021-22 Academic Year

Lisa Vollendorf

June 17, 2021

University of Northern Colorado President Andy Feinstein announced on June 17 that Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D., has been appointed as interim provost and chief academic officer for the 2021-22 academic year. Vollendorf brings 26 years of higher education experience to UNC and has held numerous leadership roles, including provost, dean, department chair and Academic Senate chair. She will start her new role on July 1, 2021. 

President Feinstein, who worked with Vollendorf when he was provost at San Jose State University and she was Dean of Humanities and the Arts, said, “Lisa is a seasoned administrator with a can-do attitude. She understands what it means to be a Students First university and is cognizant of the importance faculty play in moving the institution forward. She was an excellent leader at San Jose State and the feedback we received from community members when she visited UNC was unanimously positive.”  

"I am thrilled to join the extraordinary community of students, faculty and staff at UNC,” Vollendorf said. “The institution's mission of providing high-quality education to a diverse student population speaks directly to my belief in the power of public education to change lives and transform communities. I look forward to collaborating with campus and community stakeholders to help UNC continue to deliver on this powerful promise." 

Vollendorf grew up in Colorado, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from Colorado State University before going on to earn a master’s in Spanish and Latin American Literatures and a doctorate in Romance Languages from the University of Pennsylvania.  

During her career, Vollendorf has held faculty appointments at six public universities including Miami University (Ohio); Wayne State University; University of  California, Santa Barbara; California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), where she was also the department chair; University of California, Los Angeles; and Sonoma State University. 

Her leadership positions include special advisor for Academic Planning and Operational Continuity in the California State University’s Chancellor’s Office since 2020; provost and executive vice president at Sonoma State University from 2017-2020; dean of Humanities and the Arts at San José State University from 2012-2017; and Academic Senate chair at CSULB from 2010-2012. 

Mark Anderson, Ph.D., the university's current provost and senior vice president for academic affairs is retiring and stepping down from his role at the end of June. The university will launch a national search for a permanent provost in the fall. 

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