Capps comes to Humboldt State from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is currently Dean of the College of Professional Studies, which has 6,000 students in 38 undergraduate programs and 6 graduate programs, and she is a professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, and has expertise in high-risk juvenile offenders. She recently served as an expert witness for gang-involved juveniles serving sentences of life without parole. She serves as a university leader in developing public-private partnerships and developing interdisciplinary programs that are responsive to workforce needs.
As Provost at Humboldt State, Capps will serve as Humboldt State’s chief academic officer, supporting the implementation of the University’s academic mission and providing curricular and administrative leadership. She will oversee multiple areas including the Colleges; the University Library; Research and Sponsored Programs; Information Technology Services; Research and Sponsored Programs; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; and Institutional Effectiveness.
“We are excited to welcome Jenn and her wife, Julie, to Humboldt State University and the community,” said HSU President Jackson. “Dr. Capps is an incredibly talented scholar, practitioner, educator, and professor. Her passion, drive, unique innovative spirit, and strong ability to link community needs to the curriculum will be a tremendous asset to this institution.”
Capps says that she was interested in the opportunity at Humboldt State for many reasons.
“I was drawn to HSU by the extraordinary faculty, excellent academic programs, and the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusivity,” Capps says. “HSU is well positioned to continue to capitalize on its strengths in areas like equity and social justice and sustainability and environmental awareness. In addition there appears to be great possibilities in exploring ways to further engage the local community and indigenous nations, reaching rural students and working adults through online platforms, and collaborating with local industries to strengthen our workforce partnerships.”
Capps is in her 11th year at MSU Denver and has contributed to a diverse range of areas, including study-abroad education, assessment of student learning, and the development of master’s programs. She previously served as Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies at MSU Denver, as well as Interim Manager for the Human Subjects Projection Program, and Faculty Associate for Assessment and Curriculum.
Capps earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Mason University, her master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Colorado Denver and her doctorate in counseling psychology with a focus in education and supervision from the University of Northern Colorado. She is a licensed professional counselor.
Prior to joining MSU Denver, Capps served as a leader in community-based collaborative programming aimed at improving community safety while reducing incarceration rates for the highest-risk youth in Colorado. She also worked extensively in the areas of psychiatric evaluation and trauma response and was part of teams that responded to events including the Columbine school shooting and the Aurora theater shooting.
She says she’s looking forward to getting to know the campus community. “My first priority is to go on several listening tours with faculty, staff, students and community members to gain understanding of Humboldt State and it’s unique strengths, opportunities, and challenges. Building a strong relationship with the University community is my number one goal so that we may forge ahead together to elevate HSU.” Capps would like to extend a special thanks to the search committee and countless faculty, staff, and students who participated in the search process.
When Capps moves to Humboldt County in July, she will be joined by her wife Julie as well as a dog, a new puppy, and two cats. Beyond work, she says she’s looking forward to the opportunities for outdoor adventure, including diving, hiking, and enjoying all of the local cultural events Humboldt County has to offer.
Capps will succeed Lisa Bond-Maupin, who has served as Interim Provost since January and is returning to her role as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. Bond-Maupin has provided important leadership in strategic and institutional planning, academic master planning, budget, and accreditation, and she has done a stellar job guiding Academic Affairs through the challenging response to the pandemic crisis.
“Thanks is not a strong enough expression for what Dr. Bond-Maupin has provided to Humboldt over the past few months. Between power outages, a pandemic, strategic planning, budget, faculty promotions, student engagement, and accreditation planning, she has more than carried this institution to a much better place. Furthermore, her devotion to process and shared governance continued to keep HSU true to all that we stand for as a campus. I am grateful for her willingness to serve in this demanding but important role,” says President Jackson.