USM Names Dr. Alison Wrynn of the California State University System as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
Baltimore, Md. (Dec. 19, 2022) — University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Jay A. Perman has appointed Dr. Alison Wrynn to the position of USM senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. Wrynn joins the USM from the California State University (CSU) chancellor’s office, where she has served as associate vice chancellor for academic programs, innovations, and faculty development.
Reporting directly to Chancellor Perman, Wrynn will provide critical leadership and support to deliver on the USM’s academic and student services mission in a time of rapid transformation in higher education—readily responding to the educational needs of students and meeting the challenges facing the system and the state. She will serve as a strategic resource to the Chancellor and his executive team, USM presidents, academic and student affairs leaders, faculty, staff, and students to deliver innovative programs supporting the system’s strategic plan, “Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence.”
As senior vice chancellor, Wrynn’s responsibilities will also include leadership and collaboration with the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, as well as direction for ARTSYS (the state’s transfer-credits platform). Wrynn will also act as lead staff to the Board of Regents Committee on Education Policy and Student Life and support other committees and workgroups. She will lead USM efforts in academic transformation, strengthening the P-20 pipeline, and affordability.
Wrynn will join the USM on January 17, 2023. She succeeds current Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Life Joann Boughman, who is retiring in 2023 after holding the position with distinction since 2012. Boughman, a geneticist and former vice president for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, will remain with the USM for the early weeks of Wrynn’s tenure to facilitate a smooth transition. In announcing Boughman’s plans to retire, Chancellor Perman saluted “her singular focus on what’s best for our students and our scholarship.”
“I’m delighted to welcome Dr. Wrynn to our University System,” said Chancellor Perman. “Dr. Wrynn says she’s committed to serving in a system that centers student achievement in its work and ‘values equity at its core.’ I think that says something great about her—and about the USM. We’re fortunate to have found in Dr. Boughman’s successor a leader whose values align so well with ours, a leader who will continue our progress toward excellence and equity for all.”
“I’m excited for the opportunity to join the University System of Maryland in this senior leadership role as we embark on fulfilling the promise of the system’s strategic plan, ‘Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence.’ I see a close alignment with the work we have done in the CSU. Our efforts on Graduation Initiative 2025 have been the most consequential of my career. I welcome the opportunity to continue this work in the University System of Maryland. Engaging the students, faculty, the Board of Regents, legislative partners and P-20 partners across the state will be key to the success of such an ambitious plan.”
Wrynn has held several leadership responsibilities in her current position in the chancellor’s office at Cal State. These include serving as a senior liaison to the Academic Affairs Council, Student Affairs Council, Academic Senate CSU committees, and the Admission Advisory Council; addressing division matters in the absence of the executive vice chancellor and chief of staff; and budget management and oversight for nearly $6 million in personnel and more than $20 million in contracts.
Wrynn has also managed several Cal State initiatives and departments, including the Office of Academic Programs; Academic Technology Services; Innovative Teaching and Future Faculty Development; and the CSU Healthcare Workforce Development programs.
Wrynn’s leadership at Cal State has helped ensure alignment with systemwide academic policy, state, and federal laws regarding higher education and the university’s mission. She has provided guidance to provosts, graduate deans, and other senior academic leaders on academic policy matters and questions regarding general education, curriculum development, implementation, and maintenance.
In 2016, she joined the CSU Office of the Chancellor as state university associate dean for academic programs. In 2018, CSU appointed her to a dual position: interim assistant vice chancellor for academic programs and faculty development, and interim state university dean for academic programs. Wrynn was director of undergraduate studies & general education at California State University, Fullerton for three years, beginning in 2014.
Wrynn also spent considerable time on the faculty of the kinesiology department at California State University, Long Beach. She joined that institution in 2000 as an assistant professor before appointments as an associate chair for undergraduate studies and, in 2009, as a tenured professor. Simultaneously, from 2011-2014, she maintained a 50-percent appointment in the CSU chancellor’s office as faculty director for the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program, Academic Human Resources. She was an assistant professor in the physical education department at the State University of New York-College at Cortland (SUNY Cortland), from 1997-2000.
Wrynn holds a Ph.D. in. Human Biodynamics, History of Physical Education & Sport, from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds M.A. and bachelor’s degrees in physical education—from California State University, Long Beach and Springfield College, respectively.
The USM comprises 12 institutions: Bowie State University; Coppin State University; Frostburg State University; Salisbury University; Towson University; the University of Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Maryland Eastern Shore; and the University of Maryland Global Campus. The USM also includes three regional centers—the Universities at Shady Grove, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, and the University System of Maryland at Southern Maryland—at which USM universities offer upper-division undergraduate and graduate courses.
USM institutions and programs are among the nation's best in quality and value according to several national rankings. To learn more about the University System of Maryland, visit www.usmd.edu. To learn about the new USM Strategic Plan, “Vision 2030: From Excellence to Preeminence,” visit https://www.usmd.edu/vision2030/.
Contact: Mike Lurie