Sherri Jackson named JU interim provost

The former psychology professor also is senior vice president of academic affairs.

Jacksonville University Interim Provost Sherri Jackson
Jacksonville University Interim Provost Sherri Jackson
Special to the Daily Record
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Jacksonville University announced the appointment of Sherri Jackson as interim provost and senior vice president of academic affairs while a selection committee conducts a search for JU’s next provost.

She succeeds Christine Sapienza, who transitioned to executive vice president in JU’s Office of Growth and Partnerships.

“Since joining Jacksonville University 35 years ago to teach psychology, Dr. Jackson has proven herself a talented, experienced educator; a proven mentor to students and employees; a creative problem-solver; and an ardent champion for our faculty,” JU President Tim Cost said in a July 18 news release.

“She is an accomplished author and researcher, as well as a decorated professor who has been named JU Professor of the Year and JU Woman of the Year, in addition to receiving myriad other awards and honors,” Cost said.

Jackson’s faculty leadership roles include chair of the faculty; chair of the Division of Social Sciences, now the School of Social Sciences and Education; interim dean for the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities; and vice provost since 2018.

“Working with academic and senior leadership teams and the faculty to continue to increase the academic experience at Jacksonville University is the appeal of this job. I will support what we have created and strategically assess new opportunities for programming that will benefit our students and elevate the institution,” Jackson said in the release.

As vice provost, Jackson led initiatives to streamline academic processes and increase educational accessibility including development of Pathways of Distinction, a customized advising tool allowing students to explore combinations of majors and minors that align with their interests and fit within a traditional four-year course plan.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Jackson helped develop a winter academic term at JU to expand course options, an innovation that became a permanent part of the academic calendar. 

Jackson received her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Her research is in cognitive psychology, especially in pragmatic and deductive reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making, research methods and statistics.

Founded in 1934, JU offers more than 100 majors, minors and programs in its five colleges, 11 schools and four institutes on the 235-acre riverfront campus.