By Emily Anne Espinosa |Staff Writer|
Dr. Shari McMahan, Ph.D, is welcomed as the University’s new Provost and Vice President of Academic affairs, the first female Provost in campus history.
To celebrate, the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) hosted a reception on Oct. 11 at the SMSU Fourplex to welcome McMahan.
“I think her being the first women [as Provost] at CSUSB is very exciting,” said student and intern at the WRC, Cassandra Chavez.
The Provost is the Chief Academic Officer of the University and is responsible for all of the academic operations at CSUSB.
As Provost, McMahan will work with both administration and faculty to support faculty excellence and improve student success.
“I’m hoping to move the campus forward in a really positive direction. It’s moving, but I’m hoping to accelerate it as a catalyst,” said McMahan.
McMahan plans to accomplish this through establishing sound practices, transparency, implementing tools to improve organizations and systems in place.
Janet Honn Alex, the WRC Coordinator and Price Center Coordinator, said, “It’s a tremendous feat for this campus and it’s very significant because we’ve never had a woman Provost and for years and years, we have not had a woman Vice President.”
For McMahan, the celebration of her being recognized as the first female Provost in campus history was a surprise.
“I haven’t thought about this as being a gender kind of thing because I’ve grown up thinking that people are all equal in my mind,” said McMahan.
“I’m surprised that’s the label that I get more than anything, but I’m excited because I’m hoping that it balances the cabinet, which is the President and the Vice Presidents, and they’re all men, besides the Chief of Staff,” continued McMahan.
Irene Tobias, a student assistant at the WRC, talked to McMahan about taking up the position as Provost.
“She did say that she was hesitant to take the job because she wasn’t sure she could do it as a female with only males having that role, but she decided to do it because she wanted to be a leader and an example for other women so they could do that too,” said Tobias.
At California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), McMahan has served as interim associate vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer, dean of the college of health and human development, and Chairman of the health sciences department, according to CSUSB News.
Last year, McMahan was nominated by Dr. Mildred Garcia, the current President of CSUF, to apply for the position.
“Before I interviewed, I came to the campus to get a feel of the campus and I felt like it would be a great home. So I’ve been excited for a long time, before anybody even knew me,” said McMahan.
“I came here over the holiday break [in December] and although I didn’t see the students, I pictured it with the students. I didn’t see the faculty either, but I pictured it as a thriving campus. And I loved it,” added McMahan.