Jennifer Burris

  • Ph.D., M.S., Physics, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • B.S., Applied Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Jennifer L. Burris joined Lenoir-Rhyne University in June 2022 as vice president for academic affairs and provost. In addition, Burris holds the rank of tenured professor in physics.

Burris comes to Lenoir-Rhyne from Appalachian State University where she served as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. At ASU, she also has served as chair of the Council of Chairs, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and as the graduate program director for the Master of Science in Engineering Physics program.

A passionate advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, Burris sits on the board and has served as the chair of the North Carolina BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program, which supports gender equity in academia, and is a board member of the North Carolina chapter of the American Council on Education Women’s Network. In recognition of her EDI work, Burris was honored as the 2020 recipient of the international Optical Society’s Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy Recognition. 

Burris supervises LR’s six colleges — Business and Economics, Education and Human Services, Health Sciences, Fine Arts and Communications, Natural Science and Mathematics and Humanities and Social Sciences — as well as the library, institutional assessment and various academic centers and institute directors.

Burris began her career in Colorado teaching at Colorado State University and Aims Community College as an adjunct faculty member. She joined Appalachian State University in 2007 and was honored as a faculty member to receive the 2015 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. At Appalachian, she held progressive leadership roles, including chair of one of the largest physics programs in the country, associate dean of a large multidisciplinary college and chair of the Council of Chairs, which leads all ASU department leaders.