Jennifer Summit joined San Francisco State as the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in 2014, after working at Stanford University for nearly twenty years as an English Professor and in administrative positions that include Department Chair, Program Director, and campus Director of Integrative Learning. At SF State she led the creation of the new Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning, which comprises units dedicated to academic excellence and student success, including curriculum development and assessment, student academic support and advising, transfer articulation, the Metro College Success Program, and the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. With a collaborative team of faculty and administrative leaders and in consultation with the Academic Senate, she led the creation of new standards for Academic Program Review (seventh cycle), focusing on curricular coherence, student achievement, and academic quality; she also served as Principle Investigator for San Francisco State’s Teagle Foundation-funded Initiative, “Faculty-Led Curriculum Redesign in the Majors.” As Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, she advances academic excellence and educational equity by supporting the work of the colleges and other academic units, collaborating with the Academic Senate, and joining with cabinet members to promote San Francisco State’s Student Success and Graduation Initiative. Her major initiatives have included launching the Budget Advisory Council in support of budget transparency and strategic planning, promoting data-informed decision-making by creating a new office of Associate Provost of Institutional Analytics, supporting faculty development through the establishment of the new Center for Excellence and Equity in Teaching and Learning, and spearheading the Academic Affairs Council’s year-long analysis of educational equity toward eliminating opportunity gaps at San Francisco State.
A specialist in medieval and early modern literature, Dr. Summit has authored two prize-winning monographs and numerous scholarly articles, edited two critical collections, and published widely on issues in contemporary higher education. She has received major fellowships from NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and the ACLS (American Council of Learned Society) and awards from the MLA (Modern Language Association) and other national professional associations. As an ACE (American Council on Education) Fellow at San José State, she led the Provost’s Task Force on Student Engagement and co-founded the joint Stanford-SJSU initiative, “Preparing Future Professors,” which mentors graduate students entering the professoriate. She received her BA from Vassar College and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University but was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and remains a devoted Californian.