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Jubilation as Nigerian professor is named provost of University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco (USF) in the United States has appointed Prof Julia Oparah of Nigerian origin as its provost and vice president of academic affairs.

USF President Paul Fitzgerald announced this on Thursday, saying her tenure would begin on July 12.

“Our community has identified a leader in higher education with extraordinary scholarly, administrative, and service credentials to lead USF as provost,” he said.

Fitzgerald added he was delighted to welcome Oparah and her family to USF and that ”he looked forward to working with her as a partner in mission while continuing to build on the planning and implementation that had taken place across the campus during this challenging year of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

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Oparah is currently the provost and dean of the Faculty of Ethnic Studies at Mills College where she had served as a member of the faculty for almost 20 years before being named provost and dean in 2017.

Also speaking, the outgoing interim provost of USF who chaired the search committee Tyrone Cannon said Oparah ”rose to the top of a deep and distinguished pool of candidates”.

Oparah said she was honoured and excited to serve the USF community as its next provost.

She 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.’”

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