On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Dr. Kathy Ogren will be installed as Provost of the University of Redlands.
“The provost is directly responsible for ensuring a comprehensive liberal arts education for all students at the University,” says Ogren. “One way to do this is operationally, working with the deans and many academic support units across campus to ensure that students and faculty are well served. Another way is through awareness and education. Alongside administrative responsibilities, the provost remains a professor, which means that part of my role is to help others better understand the benefits of a liberal education.”
Ogren, who served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2011 to 2015, was also a faculty member in the history department for many years and served as director of the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies from 1999 to 2007.
Long fascinated with the social significance of vernacular cultural forms—in particular jazz, blues, and cowboy poetry and music—Ogren has offered courses in American and African American history, women’s history, jazz and blues studies, and the modern American West, often combining history, literature and music in her classes.
Ogren is the author of The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz and, with Bill McDonald, Hard Travelin’: Livin’ and Learnin’ in the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies.
In her spare time Ogren performs as a vocalist with the Buffalo Blues Band, which she started in 2006 as part of a Johnston Center class project. The band, which also includes her husband, singer-songwriter and guitarist Robert Shepherd, performs at the Johnston Center’s Buffalo Fest and at local events like Market Night.
Ogren will be the first provost at the University of Redlands, and as such will help define the academic vision of the University and provide leadership in the implementation of the University’s strategic plan.
“As a student, liberal education freed me to make enlightened choices,” says Ogren. “Now as provost, I feel a greater responsibility to ensure students have opportunities to find their own passions. Provosts can be defined many ways, but as I tell our students, I am now the ‘keeper of keys’ for their learning adventures. I hope they are as transformative as mine.”