A lifelong educator, Dr. Jann L. Joseph has spent her career working to increase educational opportunities and student success in the West Indies, Michigan, Indiana, and now, Georgia.
Early History and Education
Born in Trinidad, West Indies as the youngest of five siblings, Joseph was raised by her mother Sybil, a housewife, and her father Fred Pantor, a tailor. Although neither parent completed elementary school, they valued and understood the power of education to transform lives for generations. With their encouragement and sacrifices, Joseph attended Princes Town Roman Catholic Elementary School and St. Stephens College secondary school and graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine with a BS in Agriculture (1984) and an MPhil in Plant Science (1989). She then graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction – Science Education (1998). Joseph credits her mother, in particular, for insisting that she attend college, recalling that Sybil read a lot and wanted more for her children, especially for her two daughters; education and learning were everything in their family. Joseph remains forever grateful to her parents for doing the impossible and giving her an education, and this feeling inspired her to serve in higher education and pay it forward.
Joseph’s career in education began as a graduate student in St. Augustine when she was a teaching assistant for various biology courses at the University of the West Indies from 1985 to 1989. After graduation in 1989, she began teaching with the Ministry of Education for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, where she also served as Agricultural Science department chair from 1990 to 1992. During her PhD program at UW Madison (1994-1998), she held various faculty positions and served as program coordinator of Wisconsin Fast Plants in the Department of Plant Pathology. Her first full-time faculty appointment came in 1998 at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Michigan, where she advanced through the ranks from assistant professor to professor in the Department of Biology – Science Education from 1998 to 2011. While at GVSU, Joseph served as associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2006 to 2011. She then took an appointment as dean of the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., a post she held from 2011 to 2014. During her tenure at EMU, Joseph led the development and implementation of the COE’s first strategic plan, and she created the Office of Urban, Community, and International Outreach among other accomplishments.
Recent Administrative Career
Indiana University hired Joseph in 2014 as executive vice chancellor (Academic Affairs, Division of Student Engagement and Success) at IU South Bend, a position she held until 2018 when she became interim chancellor of IUSB. In her role as EVC, Joseph was responsible for budget planning and developing a long-term sustainable economic model that secures the viability of the campus operations. Among her many accomplishments, she reallocated resources to fund and fully support the campus Titan Success Center to offer “intrusive” advising and coaching for more than 40% of newly admitted students; increased IUSB’s contribution to IU Online Class Connect from three courses in fall 2014 to 51 in spring 2019; developed a based-funded budget model to support key programs for minority, first-generation, and low-income students including a summer leadership program; revitalized faculty shared governance and established faculty taskforces to address key campus initiatives including Reimaging First Year (IUSB CARES) project, General Education Program revision, Carnegie Engaged Campus initiative and Center for Research and Scholarship; increased funding for the University Center for Excellence in Teaching to provide professional development for associate faculty (adjuncts) and increased funding for lecturers, and tenure/tenure-track professors. Joseph also engaged in proposal development, donor cultivation, and solicitation for major gifts including $5.8M to name the Vera D. Dwyer College of Health Sciences and $1.6M for a Chair of Palliative Care. As interim chancellor, Joseph worked closely with the other regional campus chancellors to advance the goals of Blueprint 2.0, the bicentennial strategic plan for IU regional campus collaboration.
Professional and Civic Engagement
Beyond Indiana University, Joseph has served in several professional and civic organizations. Some of her professional service includes president representative for Indiana’s ACE Women’s Network, board member of Indiana Campus Compact, Center for Regional Campus Excellence, campus representative of the IU Academic Leadership Council, campus liaison for the Higher Learning Commission, chair of the Michigan Council of Deans of Colleges of Education, executive board member of the Michigan Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, Michigan’s ACE Women of Color Committee, member of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences Committee on Associate/Assistant Deans, member of the Detroit Schools Higher Education Consortium, and chair of the Content Advisory Committee of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, Integrated Science, among many others. Her civic engagement has included serving as board member of Healthlinc, board member in the South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce, board member of the St Joseph County Historical Society, president of the South Bend, Ind. Chapter of The Links Inc., member of the Ypsilanti 20-Club (Town and Gown group), volunteer with Dress for Success, and volunteer leader for the American Heart Association, among other organizations.
She was married to Dr. Edwin Joseph (deceased) for 36 years and has three children and four grandchildren.