Dr. Corey Cook Named Executive Vice President and Provost

Dear Members of the Saint Mary’s Community,

I am very pleased to share with you the appointment of Dr. Corey Cook as the College’s permanent Executive Vice President and Provost. 

A national search was launched at the beginning of the fall 2021 semester to identify candidates for this critical position. A 12-person search committee, chaired by Dr. Aaron Sachowitz and Dr. Frances Sweeney, reviewed a large and diverse pool of applicants and identified candidates for on campus interviews. The process, guided by AGB Search Firm, was very helpful in clarifying current priorities in academic programming as well as the many other areas identified in the leadership profile for the position, such as institutional operations and budget modeling, faculty policies and staffing, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and overall leadership skills. There was widespread input on these priorities as well as on the many strengths of each candidate. I am grateful to the AGB consultants and especially to the many of you in our campus community who participated in this process.  

After reviewing all of this feedback, it became clear that Corey was the ideal person to serve as our provost at this time. When I met with the co-chairs of the Search Committee to review their input about the candidates, they reported that many of the members had voiced this same conclusion about Corey. I then met with the full Search Committee this morning to share this information.

As Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning, and more recently as the Interim Provost, Corey has helped lead efforts to navigate successfully through the pandemic while continuing to make progress on key initiatives such as helping facilitate the strategic planning process, re-establish the institutional effectiveness committee, revise the vision and organization of the Sustainability Committee, and work with the academic deans and faculty on the Omnibus Task Force and its goals around transitioning credit hours, workload policies, core curriculum revision, and prioritization and innovation for academic programs. 

Corey joined Saint Mary’s in 2019. Prior to coming to Saint Mary's, he served as the founding dean of the School of Public Service and Professor of Political Science at Boise State University. After earning his doctorate in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin, Corey held faculty positions at Rutgers University, San Francisco State University, and the University of San Francisco, where he also served as the director of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. Corey teaches classes in urban politics, critical race theory, data analysis and visualization, and housing policy. At Saint Mary's he has taught a January Term class "Bay Area Social Justice Movements: Identity and Place-Based Activism." He has published on California politics and policy, political geography, and political representation and is currently collaborating on a book on housing law, policy, and politics.

Throughout his roles, Corey has acted with integrity, grounded in our mission and values, and worked with me to build a culture that is transparent, collaborative, and forward-looking. I am very pleased that Corey has accepted my invitation to serve in this capacity on a permanent basis. Please join me in congratulating him as he accepts this new role. 

I also want to thank the following members of the search committee for their thorough and diligent work:

  • Berna Aksu, SEBA Faculty Representative

  • Rebecca Anguiano, KSOE Faculty Representative

  • Patrick Carew, Vice President for Strategic Partnership & Advancement

  • Evette Castillo Clark - Associate Vice President Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

  • Vidya Chandrasekaran, SOS Faculty Representative

  • Susan Collins, Vice President for Finance and Administration 

  • Zach Flanagin, SOLA Faculty Representative

  • Anthony Garrison, Vice President for Student Life

  • Carol Ann Gittens, Dean, Kalmanovitz School of Education

  • Sarah Rosasco, President of the Associated Students 

  • Aaron Sachowitz, Chair of the Academic Senate, co-chair

  • Frances Sweeney, Vice President for Mission, co-chair

Again, I thank you for your participation in this process and your continued input as we all work together to advance the mission of Saint Mary’s College.


Best regards,

Richard Plumb, PhD