About the Provost

Sonoma State Provost, Lisa Vollendorf
Lisa Vollendorf, Provost, Executive Vice President for
       Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer

“El que lee mucho y anda mucho, ve mucho y sabe mucho.” - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Dr. Lisa Vollendorf is Provost of the University, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Chief Academic Officer at Sonoma State. 

Growing up at 10,000 feet in Breckenridge, Colo., Provost Vollendorf developed an appreciation for the natural world at an early age. As she recalls, “Every day brought the opportunity for a new adventure — whether we were hiking, biking, camping, skiing or skating — it always involved being outdoors.” Even today Dr. Vollendorf continues to be an avid outdoorswoman and trekker, most recently enjoying a recent backpacking trip in the beautiful Emigrant Wilderness in northern California.

In tandem with her love for the natural world, Dr. Vollendorf always has had a passion for education. She earned her B.A. in English and Spanish at Colorado State University in 1990 and then an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literatures (1992) and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania (1995). Provost  Vollendorf’s research centers on the cultural history of women across the Atlantic, particularly Iberia and Latin America. An established scholar with grants from such institutions as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, she has published two monographs, six edited books, and 35 chapters and articles. Most recently, she co-edited Approaches to Teaching Cervante’s Don Quixote alongside James A. Parr, distinguished professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. 

A tireless advocate for the value of public education over the past several decades, Dr. Vollendorf has devoted her career to high-impact public education. Her teaching career includes work at Miami University of Ohio (1995-97), Wayne State University (1997-2005), and CSU Long Beach (2005-12). It was during her tenure at Long Beach where she began to transition to academic leadership, serving as department chair and, later, chair of the Academic Senate. She then served as Dean of Humanities and the Arts at San José State University from 2012 through 2017. There, she was proud to re-open the Hammer Theatre and to create the Dean’s Leadership Academy. During that time, she also participated in the American Leadership Forum’s Class XXXVI and served on the Executive Committee of the American Departments of Foreign Languages. 

At Sonoma State, Provost Vollendorf has led the charge towards implementing President Judy K. Sakaki’s vision for Strategic Plan 2025. Under the direction of the President, and in collaboration with students, faculty, staff and alumni, Provost Vollendorf has helped craft the vision for the future of the university. It is a vision that emphasises our Core Values: Diversity and Social Justice, Sustainability and Environmental Inquiry, Connectivity and Community Engagement, and Adaptability and Responsiveness. In addition to her work as SSU’s Chief Academic Officer, Provost Vollendorf is always excited to engage with students, alumni,and the public. She can be followed on Twitter (@lisavol) if you want to keep up with what’s happening with her and the university!