Wisconsin woman is named Cal Poly's new provost

An administrator at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has been named Cal Poly’s new provost, the university announced in a news release today.

Kathleen Enz Finken, who has served as Wisconsin-La Crosse’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs since 2008, will start at Cal Poly in early February as the senior member on Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong’s executive management staff.

She will be paid $230,000, health benefits and up to $14,000 in moving expenses, according to Cal Poly officials. She won’t receive a car allowance or housing allowance.

“Kathleen brings a wealth of experience to Cal Poly as a professor, college dean and provost,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Kathleen’s approach to problem solving will work well at Cal Poly. She is calm, thoughtful and collaborative but also persistent and focused on doing what is best for students’ success.”

Prior to her time at Wisconsin-La Crosse, Enz Finken served as dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Minnesota State University Moorhead from 2004-08 and as chair of the university’s Department of Art and Design from 2000-02.

She was a professor of art history at the Minnesota campus from 1993 through 2008, and currently holds the same role in Wisconsin.

Enz Finken earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1998 and a master’s degree in art history in 1987 at Rutgers University in New Jersey. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Douglass College for Women (now Douglass Residential College) and also studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

She succeeds Robert Koob, who has served as Cal Poly’s interim provost since September 2008. Koob has also been serving as interim vice president for advancement and CEO of the Cal Poly Foundation since spring 2010, when the late Sandra Ogren retired from the posts because of health problems.

Cal Poly announced last month that Deborah Read, vice president for university advancement at the University of Dayton in Ohio, has been named Cal Poly’s new vice president for university advancement and CEO of the Cal Poly Foundation. Read will start at Cal Poly on Jan. 1.