Julia Chinyere Oparah, a scholar in the field of ethnic studies, has been named provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of San Francisco. She will take office on July 12.
The University of San Francisco enrolls about 6,500 undergraduate students and more than 4,000 graduate students according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 5 percent of the undergraduate student body.
Dr. Oparah has served on the faculty at Mills College in Oakland, California, for more than 20 years. In 2017, she was named provost and dean of the faculty at Mills College. Before arriving at Mills College, Dr. Oparah worked in nonprofit administration, taught within the University of California system, and served as Canada research chair in social justice at the University of Toronto. She is the co-editor of Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth (Routledge, 2015).
“I am both deeply honored and excited to serve the USF community as its next provost,” Dr. Oparah said. “I have long admired USF’s commitment to equity and social justice, and consider USF’s distinctive Jesuit educational principles — particularly cura personalis, care of the whole person — as central to what USF does so well in educating students who will, as the university promises, ‘change the world from here’.”
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Dr. Oparah holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in modern and medieval languages and literature from the University of Cambridge in England. She earned a second master’s degree in race and ethnic studies and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Warwick.