Accomplished Academic Leader and Kinesiology Researcher Brian Clocksin Appointed Next Provost of Samuel Merritt University

Kirsten Hammann

Brian Clocksin, an accomplished academic leader and kinesiologist, who currently serves as the Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at the  University of La Verne, has been appointed the next provost of Samuel Merritt University. 

University President Ching-Hua Wang announced Clocksin’s appointment in a February 28 letter to the SMU community. 

Clocksin will begin his tenure at SMU effective April 2, 2023, succeeding Fred Baldini, who concluded his term as provost in December 2022. Celeste Villanueva, assistant vice president of academic affairs, will continue to serve as interim provost until Clocksin assumes the role in April. 

As SMU’s chief academic officer, Clocksin will be an essential partner to the president and the President’s Cabinet. He will work closely with deans, faculty, and other administrative colleagues to advance SMU’s 2017–2026 Strategic Plan, the Academic Master Plan, and the 2021–2026 Strategic Vision for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to support the diversification of the health and well-being workforce, and to continue the University's record of academic excellence and innovation.  

Currently, Dr. Clocksin is the Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives and a professor of kinesiology at the University of La Verne (La Verne, CA). During his 11-year tenure at La Verne, Clocksin has served in leadership roles at the department, college, and university levels. As the Vice Provost, Clocksin led the development and launch of the College of Health and Community Well-Being; co-led the launch of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social Impact; and coordinated the academic affairs COVID-19 response. He worked closely with University Advancement, Government Relations, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to secure over $11m in funding for capital projects and program support. Clocksin has also led efforts to establish partnerships with area hospitals to provide clinical experiences and student scholarships. He brings a strong understanding of the process of developing and evaluating programs to meet accreditation requirements and currently serves as a WSCUC (WASC) site visitor.  

"With over 25 years of experience at multiple private and public higher educational institutions, he will be a great asset in the provost role at SMU,” President Wang said. 

Dr. Brian Clocksin

Pull quote from Brian: 

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve Samuel Merritt University as the next Provost. It is a particularly auspicious time to join SMU as we seek to realize the goals outlined in the strategic growth initiative, and I am thrilled to partner with the faculty and staff in these efforts. The University is widely recognized as a leader in providing high-quality health science education, rooted in a patient-first mindset, and we are well positioned to respond to the changing healthcare landscape. In collaborations between the Oakland and regional campuses, we will continue to advance the habits of mind, heart, and hands in both existing and future programs to transform our students and the communities we live in and serve.”

— Brian Clocksin, Incoming Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs 

Dr. Clocksin earned a Ph.D. in exercise and sports science (sport pedagogy) from the University of Utah, a master’s degree in physical education (physiological kinesiology) from the University of Northern Colorado, and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science (sports medicine) from Willamette University.  

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