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Chico State

Chico State Names Leslie Cornick Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Photo illustration of Leslie Cornick

Photo courtesy of Leslie Cornick

Leslie Cornick, dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) for the University of Washington Bothell, has been named provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Chico State. Cornick will begin her position on January 31, 2024.

Cornick was selected after a nationwide search to fill the University’s second-highest role. She visited campus in December to meet with constituent groups and the broader campus for finalist interviews.

“Cornick brings an extraordinary record of success. I am confident she will take Chico State to high levels of performance and strengthen our culture and community,” said University President Steve Perez. “Her experience in data-informed budget development and creation of diverse revenue streams with regional partners will serve our campus well as we face challenges ahead.”

As STEM dean at UW Bothell, a regional public campus that, like Chico, serves a diverse student population, Cornick brought together a strong leadership team and encouraged a culture of inclusive engagement that supported both faculty and staff in achieving the mission and vision of the university. She created multiple student success initiatives and worked to improve academic pathways and to develop wraparound services for students.  

Cornick also serves as the president of the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences and has facilitated national workshops for deans in budget management and resource development, forecasting and long-term planning, philanthropy, and critical conversations. She has extensive experience in enrollment management and curriculum development as well as in collaborating with faculty to cultivate academic programming that is accessible and relevant. 

Prior to joining UW Bothell in 2020, Cornick spent three years as associate dean at Eastern Washington University. She also was the founding dean of Research and Sponsored Programs, department chair, and director of the Marine Physiological Ecology Laboratory at Alaska Pacific University. She has taught in the classroom at Alaska Pacific and Connecticut College.  

“I couldn’t be more delighted to join Chico State at this critical time and work in community and collaboration with President Perez and the faculty, staff, and students to take Academic Affairs at Chico State to new heights,” Cornick said. “Coming to Chico feels like coming home in so many ways. I’m incredibly grateful for the warm welcome I’ve felt already and for this incredible opportunity.” 

Cornick succeeds Terence Lau, who served as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for the past six months. Perez expressed his gratitude to Terence Lau for providing steady guidance and bold leadership during a time of transition. Lau will assist Cornick with her transition into the provost position and will return to faculty in the College of Business in the fall 2024 semester.