Office of the President

Dr. Debra Larson selected as Provost

Debra Larson

Dr. Debra Larson has accepted the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs after a nationwide search. 

Dr. Larson comes to California State University, Chico from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she has been the dean of the College of Engineering since 2011. She began her position at Chico State on March 1, 2017. Prior to that appointment, she served as chair, associate dean, and associate vice provost during her 17 years of service at Northern Arizona University (NAU). She also worked as a civil engineer in the private sector for more than a decade before her work at NAU.

Dr. Larson holds a PhD in civil engineering from Arizona State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University. She has received significant recognition during her career, most notably the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Leadership Award from the American Society of Civil Engineering. She has served as an accreditation evaluator on a number of reviews for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

“Dr. Larson earned this important appointment as a result of her impressive accomplishments and expressed commitment to collaborate with others across the academy to help move this institution forward,” said Charles Zartman, chair of the search committee. “On- and off-campus constituencies will find her to be genuine, transparent, straightforward, collegial, quite humorous, and extremely capable.” 

Dr. Larson wanted to share these comments with the campus: “I am very excited about joining Chico State as provost and vice president, welcoming the opportunity to become a member of such a dedicated community. In addition to its people, Chico State’s strengths are many. I believe in the University’s comprehensive mission, its focus on environmental stewardship and civic responsibility, the care of students, and its close relationship to the City of Chico and greater region of Northern California. The campus is embarking upon an exciting time, and the enthusiasm for this future is real. It is an honor to be able to serve at Chico State. I look forward to getting to know everyone!”