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About the Provost and
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Provost Kathleen Enz Finken

Kathleen Enz Finken


Kathleen Enz Finken joined Cal Poly as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs in February 2012.  She brings broad academic and administrative experience to her position as the university’s top administrator for academic affairs and senior member of the President’s executive management staff.  Enz Finken served as the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse from 2008-2012 and was also a Professor of Art History at the campus.  From 2004 to 2008 she was Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and from 2000 to 2002 she was chair of the university’s Department of Art and Design; she also served as a Professor of Art History at the Minnesota campus from 1993 through 2008. 

Enz Finken earned three degrees in art and architectural history: a Bachelor of Arts degree (1983) from Douglass College for Women, the women's residential college of Rutgers University in New Jersey (now Douglass Residential College), a Master’s degree (1987), and a Doctorate (1998), both from Rutgers. Her expertise is the art and architecture of the ancient Roman Empire and early Christian Rome.

She has participated in archaeological excavations in Cyprus and has led study tours to Italy and the United Kingdom. She was selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on Ancient Roman Religion, held at the American Academy in Rome.

She is a member of the American Council on Education Internationalization Collaborative Advisory Council.  In 2011 she was awarded the Burt and Norma Altman Award for Leadership in International Education at UW-La Crosse. She was inducted into UW-La Crosse Golden Key International Honour Society in 2008. At MSU Moorhead, she won the Academic Affairs Excellence in Service to the University Award (2007) and the Academic Affairs Excellence in Teaching Award (2003).

Enz Finken has been a highly effective administrator and takes pride in developing and promoting people and ideas, leading periods of growth and change, solving problems and removing barriers to success. Employing strong leadership skills, she is able to work collaboratively across all areas and at all levels of the university community, bringing people together to problem-solve and develop strategies for moving forward.

A strong believer in the power of hands-on learning and the value of cross-disciplinary academic endeavors, Enz Finken aims to enhance Cal Poly’s distinctive approach to teaching by creating learning environments that prepare students to be successful, responsible members of this 21st century’s “community of the world.”

Enz Finken and her husband, Gerald, have two grown sons and five grandchildren.


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