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Dr. Karyn Scissum Gunn joined California State University, Long Beach as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in July 2021. As the chief academic officer for the institution, the provost provides leadership for all academic matters at the university.
The provost oversees the quality of academic processes and works to ensure faculty quality and advancement via her leadership. The provost also works to increase student retention, promote student engagement and active learning, and ensure that students achieve their educational goals. The provost reports to the president and acts on the president’s behalf in her absence.
Before coming to CSULB, Dr. Scissum Gunn served as an associate vice president in Academic Affairs at Cal State Fullerton since 2017. She provided leadership for initiatives to bolster inclusive excellence and equitable outcomes for all students, with an emphasis on retention, graduation, time-to-degree, and elimination of equity gaps. With a passion for student success and a mission for serving the campus and community, she has developed an impressive track record as an academic leader and innovative administrator.
Previously, Dr. Scissum Gunn spent over 20 years at Alabama State University in Montgomery where she served as professor, chair, dean, associate provost and provost. During her tenure, she spearheaded major learning initiatives and instituted enrollment management, virtual learning, and development. She successfully led an institutional accreditation reaffirmation and reporting process and expanded faculty and student equity and inclusion.
Under her leadership, she garnered $54.5 million in federal funding from NIH, NSF, USDA and U.S. Department of Education to support scientific research, student training and STEM faculty development, and state capital funding for a new instructional and research facility. She produced more than 30 articles and 50 presentations and authored three STEM degree programs. Dr. Scissum Gunn earned both her bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in cell biology from Tuskegee University and her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Auburn University.
As Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Scissum Gunn is responsible for directing nearly 4,000 faculty and staff members in the Division of Academic Affairs, the largest unit within the university. She oversees eight academic colleges including the College of Professional and International Education and the university library.