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Julia R. Johnson named CMU's senior vice provost for academic affairs

New senior vice provost chosen

California State University professor to lead academic affairs

Contact: Gary H. Piatek


Executive Vice President and Provost Mary C. Schutten has appointed Julia R. Johnson to be Central Michigan University's senior vice provost for academic affairs, effective June 1. She was chosen from among four finalists interviewed in virtual forums in mid-April.

Since 2017, Johnson served as dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences at California State University, San Marcos, where she also served as a special assistant to the interim dean and as a full professor in Communication Studies and in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

“Dr. Johnson brings to Central a depth of grant-funded research and teaching experience in communication and gender and sexuality studies, in addition to having served on numerous academic and leadership committees,” Schutten said.

Johnson has held leadership roles throughout her academic career, including dean of the College of Liberal Studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and associate dean of the college. She was chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Southwestern University before that.

She also has served as a department chair, basic course director for large general education courses and as a director of graduate instructors.

She earned her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, specializing in communication and culture, rhetoric and cultural studies, and critical (communication) pedagogy; her Master of Arts degree in rhetoric and performance studies from California State University, Northridge; and her Bachelor of Arts degree in rhetoric and public address from California State University, Long Beach.

“I am looking forward to joining Central’s leadership team and playing a significant role in helping guide the future educational journey of our students of this great university,” Johnson said.

Johnson will replace Ian Davison, who retired as interim senior vice provost for academic affairs.


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