Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Meet the Provost

Leslie A. Cornick, PhD

Leslie Cornick is the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Chico State. Before joining our campus in 2024, she served as the dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the University of Washington, Bothell from 2020 to 2023, associate dean of STEM at Eastern Washington University from 2017 to 2020, and chair of the faculty, chair of Marine and Environmental Sciences, dean of Research and Sponsored Programs, and professor of Marine Biology and Policy at Alaska Pacific University from 2004 to 2017.

Dr. Cornick is a nationally recognized higher education leader, with over twenty years of positive academic leadership experience. She has been recognized for inclusive and visionary leadership, collaborative decision making, and strong board and industry relations. She is also at the forefront of international marine conservation, with her research focusing on the ecological physiology of marine mammals and the human dimensions of anthropogenic impacts in the oceans. She is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, and has published on the need for codes of conduct and diversity networks. She looks forward to bringing her expertise in these areas to the Division and to Chico State.

Some of her achievements prior to becoming provost include acting as founding director for the Alaska Pacific University Marine Physiological Ecology Laboratory and the Scientific Marine Mammal Monitoring Program, where she mentored more than a dozen Masters’ students and secured over $1.5M in extramural funding for these programs. As associate dean of the College of STEM at Eastern Washington University, she developed a variety of initiatives, including the “100 Women Strong in Computing and Engineering Program” to facilitate increasing the number of women in critical STEM fields.

Dr. Cornick has authored or co-authored over thirty publications on topics ranging from physiology to ecology to policy to best practices in higher education. She has also been an invited speaker for several professional and public venues, including Alaska Public Radio. She serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, the North Pacific Research Board, and Associate Editor for Frontiers in Marine Science. She has served in multiple capacities on the Board of Governors for the Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology, including as founding Diversity Officer, Policy Officer, and Science Officer. She has served as Congress Chair for the International Congress for Conservation Biology, the largest international meeting for conservation practitioners in the world, and has served on the steering committees for over a dozen other professional conferences. As dean of the School of STEM at UW Bothell she served on the boards of Life Science WA, the Innovation Partnership Zone, and the UW EarthLab Advisory Board of Deans. She currently serves as the President for the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences.

Dr. Cornick earned her PhD in Wildlife Ecology from Texas A&M University in 2001, her Masters in Physiology and Behavioral Biology from San Francisco State University in 1998, and her Bachelors in Biological Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego in 1993. She is an alumna of the HERS Leadership Institute, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute, and the Berkeley Executive Leadership Academy.

Provost Leslie Cornick