Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, a veteran academic administrator with extensive ties to the Central Valley, is Fresno State’s new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, effective July 22, 2019.
President Joseph I. Castro announced the appointment on April 5. The provost is the university’s chief academic officer and serves as its leader when the president is away from campus.
Jiménez-Sandoval joined the Fresno State faculty in 2000. During his 19 years of service at the University, he has served as professor of Spanish and Portuguese, coordinator of the Spanish master of arts, chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.
A multilingual scholar, he recently helped launch the new Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute, in collaboration with fellow deans of other Fresno State colleges. As a scholar, Jiménez-Sandoval studies poetic discourses, critical theory, Spanish American literature and Lusophone cultural productions. Among his academic honors are two nominations for the Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year Award.
“Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval is a dynamic scholar and administrator with an unwavering passion for our University’s mission to boldly educate and empower students for success,” said Castro. “I am excited to work with him to guide Fresno State to even greater heights of academic distinction, which will help to elevate the entire Central Valley.”
Under Jiménez-Sandoval’s leadership as dean, the College of Arts and Humanities moved to a new level of excellence by introducing innovative fields, enhancing the quality of programs, increasing the number of tenure-track professors, increasing student enrollment, increasing timely graduation rates, and leading highly successful fundraising initiatives.
As he passionately believes that students thrive in multidisciplinary environments, Jiménez-Sandoval has built collaborative programs between the College of Arts and Humanities and other academic units, including a prison art project with the Department of Criminology, an exploration of communicative and philosophical perspectives on science with the College of Science and Mathematics, a Correctional Recreational Certificate with the Department of Recreation Administration, and Ethnic Studies projects with the College of Social Sciences.
Jiménez-Sandoval said: “I’m humbled and honored by the trust President Castro and the search committee have placed in me, and reinvigorated by the support of campus and community members. I love this fertile land – one that nurtures our community in celebration of its vibrant diversity – and I love Fresno State, for its concrete potential to transform countless lives of students who become world-renowned artists, scientists, teachers, engineers, medical professionals and social servants. I’m excited to get to work on promoting student excellence, empowering faculty to inspire the next generation of leaders, and advancing strategic academic, artistic and economic innovations that will positively impact the quality of life in our Valley.”
Jiménez-Sandoval serves in a leadership role on a number of councils that nurture cultural ties, collaboration and fundraising opportunities, including: President’s Commission for the Future of Arts and Humanities; President’s Jewish Leadership Council; President’s Latino Leadership Community Group; President’s Portuguese Leadership Council; President’s Armenian Leadership Council; SE Asian Community Task Force; and University High School Board.
“As chair of the Academic Senate, I am thrilled at the prospect of working closely with Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval, our new provost,” said Thomas Holyoke, professor of political science. “Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval has a long history of working in close consultation with faculty in the College of Arts and Humanities, and I believe that he will bring that same dedication to faculty, and faculty governance, to his new role as our new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.”
Jiménez-Sandoval moved to the Fresno region as a child and tended the family farm while growing up in a bilingual, bicultural environment. An honors student at Fowler High, he went on to the University of California, Irvine, where he earned a double bachelor of arts (cum laude) in Spanish and history, and a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese literatures. In addition, he has professional certificates in critical theory from Cornell University, in Spanish art history from Escuela de Arte y Antigüedades de Madrid (Spain), and in Portuguese language and culture from Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal).
Jiménez-Sandoval is married to Dr. Mariana Anagnostopoulos, a professor in the Department of Philosophy; they are proud parents of two boys, Arion and Leo.