Evergreen names award-winning leader, scholar and teacher to provost position

February 15, 2017
Jen Drake

(Olympia, Wash.) – Following a national search, The Evergreen State College has named Jennifer Drake, PhD, an award-winning academic leader, scholar and teacher, as its next Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. She will assume the position in July.

Dr. Drake has been the Dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Indianapolis since 2013. In that role she has overseen nearly 300 full- and part-time faculty and provided administrative leadership for over 70 undergraduate and 9 graduate programs.

At Evergreen, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost oversees about 250 faculty, academic programs for about 3700 undergraduates and 300 graduate students, and four public service centers.

“Dr. Drake will be an outstanding addition to the Evergreen community,” said Evergreen President George Bridges. “She has a track record of engaged listening, creative thinking and strategic action that will serve students and the college well. 

She has a strong commitment to the role of civic engagement in the student experience, having overseen several university-wide initiatives in these areas including the Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, and the Center for Multicultural Engagement and Global Awareness. She has worked with faculty to improve student retention and success, and has provided resources for STEM faculty to research and implement best practices for supporting underrepresented students. We’re excited to have her joining us at Evergreen.”

“The Evergreen State College is founded on the key principles that have shaped my academic experiences as a student, faculty member and administrator—a commitment to student-driven, interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching and learning, with an emphasis on social justice,” Drake explained. “At more traditional institutions it is very difficult to create the kinds of structural changes needed to support creative approaches to teaching and learning throughout the campus.  With these ideals already part of Evergreen’s DNA and organizational structure, the college is well-positioned to evolve and model bold and innovative approaches in higher education’s changing landscape. I’m really looking forward to the possibilities.”

Dr. Drake earned a PhD and an MA in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a BA in religious studies from Brown University.  She joined the Indiana State University faculty in 1996, and moved to the University of Indianapolis in 2004 as an associate professor. In 2008 she was named director of the university’s Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program. She served as interim dean of the Shaheen College of Arts and Sciences from 2011-2013.