Authentic Leadership: Dr. Lisa Vollendorf, Empire State University

In this episode, Dr. Lisa Vollendorf, President of Empire State University (SUNY), discusses what authentic leadership really means. She also talks about some of the innovative initiatives at Empire that help recruit, retain and graduate students with guest cohost Michael Horowitz, President of The Community Solution Education System, and host Dr. Joe Sallustio, Senior Vice President-Global, Lindenwood University.

Fierce Education has teamed up with The EdUp Experience to bring you their dynamic podcasts in which they interview leaders and faculty in higher education.

Dr. Lisa Vollendorf is SUNY Empire State College’s sixth president. With more than 25 years of experience as an educator and leader, she is a tireless advocate for public education and is deeply committed to access, equity, and inclusion.

Above all else, Dr. Vollendorf believes that we are at our best when we think and work together to respond to opportunities and challenges. She is committed to serving a diverse student population and to supporting the faculty and staff who are at the heart of our institution.

Prior to SUNY Empire, Dr. Vollendorf served as interim provost and chief academic officer at the University of Northern Colorado. She previously worked for 16 years in the California State University system, where she was a faculty member, department chair, academic senate chair, dean, and provost at three different CSU campuses.

Dr. Vollendorf has held faculty appointments at six public universities: Miami University of Ohio; Wayne State University; California State University, Long Beach; San José State University; and Sonoma State University. She also directed the Hispanic Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Among her academic leadership highlights, Dr. Vollendorf served as dean of humanities and the arts at San José State University. She served as provost and executive vice president at Sonoma State University before becoming special advisor for academic continuity and operational planning at the California State University Office of the Chancellor in July 2020.

Dr. Vollendorf’s research focuses on the cultural history of women in Iberia and Latin America during the early modern period (1500-1700). An established scholar with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library, and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, she has published two monographs, six edited books, and 35 chapters and articles.

She earned her B.A. in English and Spanish at Colorado State University. After studying abroad in Costa Rica, she pursued a Ph.D. in Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

Connect with the EdUp Team: Elvin Freytes and Dr. Joe Sallustio.

Join the EdUp community at The EdUp Experience!