Jennifer Turpin, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of San Francisco, was chosen following a nationwide search to become the university’s next provost, who acts as the school’s chief operating officer.
What drew you to USF initially in 1991? I’m a sociologist by background, and sociologists are very concerned with issues of social justice and diversity. Education [at USF] is really meant to have a transformative effect on society.
How does the school’s location influence that education? Being located in San Francisco is amazing because here we are in the world’s greatest city with an incredibly rich and diverse population.
What do you believe is USF best known for in terms of academics? I think we’re becoming extremely well-known for our creative writing expertise — with really gifted poets, creative writers and creative nonfiction writers.
What do you think are some departments that outsiders may not know are USF’s strong points? One of my goals is to make USF well-known throughout the world as well as in the Bay Area. An example: Our mathematics department is unbelievable. A member of our faculty was named the top math professor in the country.