Provost Jennifer Turpin (left) and Vice Provost Peter Novak (right) unexpectedly announced their resignations last week. Photo credit USFCA

Provosts Peter Novak and Jennifer Turpin Announce Resignations

Angela Markwith
Staff Writer

Provost Jennifer Turpin (left) and Vice Provost Peter Novak (right) unexpectedly announced their resignations last week. 

On Feb. 3, University of San Francisco President Rev. Paul Fitzgerald announced the voluntary resignations of Provost Jennifer Turpin and Vice Provost Peter Novak. In a written statement, Fr. Fitzgerald expressed his support for the work and dedication of both individuals.

“Jenny’s contributions, as Provost and as Dean of Arts and Sciences are impressive in their scope and impact,” wrote Fitzgerald. “(She) is a fine example to us all of Jesuit educational ideals in action”.

Turpin oversaw the operation and budget of the university, as well as branch campuses, online education, accreditation, global education, assessment, contracts and grants, student and staff diversity, and community outreach. She also supervised the recruitment of new faculty, as well as the implementation of new academic programs in each of the five schools within the university.

As Vice Provost, Novak helped oversee many of the services that students experience outside of the classroom, ranging from housing and residential life, with a focus on Public Safety and Counseling and Psychological Services.

Both Turpin and Novak emphasized that their resignations were voluntary and independent, and that the simultaneous timing of them was purely coincidental.

Turpin’s decision to resign was the result of her accomplishing all of the goals that she sought to tackle. Meanwhile, Novak’s decision was primarily driven by his desire for more face-to-face student interaction.

“I missed the individual connection with students that I had in the classroom and rehearsal hall,” he said.

Although both of their decisions to resign came at a sudden and unexpected time, it was done so that Fitzgerald would have adequate time to find suitable replacements for the positions.

After collectively giving 13 years of administrative guidance to the university, both Turpin and Novak are looking forward to returning to USF as staff.

“I would like to apply for grants to create a new American Sign Language poetry site that translates ASL poetry to English and American poetry into ASL,” stated Novak.  He also expressed his desire to help direct plays for the University.

For Turpin, returning to the Sociology department in the fall of 2016 is an exciting prospect. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues across the disciplines.”

Although both Turpin and Novak are steadfast in their decision of returning to faculty, both share nostalgia for their positions as Provost and Vice Provost.

Turpin stated that one of the things she will miss most about her position as Provost was “the feeling of having a role in the overall experience students have, and in the University’s destiny.”

Both Turpin and Novak are very supportive of each other’s decision to resign from their administrative positions.  Novak remarked that he was very happy for Turpin and her decision to return to the faculty, and believes that she will be “an excellent addition to research, teaching, and service in the Department of Sociology.

When asked about the resignation of her colleague, Turpin stated that Peter Novak is a man with many gifts and talents and expresses her support of his desire to return to teaching and creative scholarship.

“He has done a fantastic job as Vice Provost, truly transforming the student experience outside the classroom,” said Turpin.

Photo Credit: USFCA

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