Prominent American Women of Basque Descent: Jeri Echeverria

Dr. Jeronima “Jeri” Echeverria: Professor and Provost Emerita, California State University, Fresno, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, California State University System (ret.).

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Jeri Echeverria, inspiring leadership and promoting Basque Studies

Born in 1946, Echeverria grew up on a sheep ranch in Brea Canyon, California, the daughter of Basque immigrants, and earned a BA in history and humanities from the University of California, Irvine, where she also completed a teaching credential. After teaching social studies at the secondary school level for twelve years, she earned her doctorate in history at University of North Texas, with research focusing on Basque-related topics.

In 1988, she joined the Department of History at California State University, Fresno, and later served as Chair of the Department, as Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences, and as Associate Provost before being appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. As provost, she played a leadership role in strategic and academic planning, expanding graduate and joint doctoral programs, supporting student success initiatives, addressing gender and equity issues and diversity hiring, planning for instructional technology, and developing systems to expand grant and contract activity.

Appointed Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs in 2009, she participated in the national movement to increase graduation rates in higher education, championed a statewide initiative to improve the experience of students transferring from community colleges to four-year universities and colleges, as well as advocating for the quality of academic programs offered to the largest cumulative student body in the United States, the CSU.

Home Away from Home

She currently offers a Leadership Course to doctoral students in two of California’s doctoral programs for educational leaders.  Her goal is the transformation of education and educators, and she focuses her current efforts in California.  Another of her current commitments is leading Lecole: A Learning Community for Ontological/Phenomenological Education, a group of faculty who are committed to introducing the Leadership Course and its distinctions to higher education. For more information on this, as well as an introductory video featuring Jeri herself, click here.

Among her publications are: Home Away From Home: A History of Basque BoardinghousesPortraits of Basques in the New World (edited with Richard W. Etulain), and  Home Off the Range: Basque Hotels in the American West.

We at the Center are also proud to say that Jeri serves as Vice-Chair of our own Advisory Board.

1 Comment

  1. Judith Echeverría

    July 7, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Soy colombiana, estoy investigando sobre los Vascos que llegaron al Norte del Pais en el año 1837 aproximadamente.
    Soy apellido Echeverría al igual que la Dra Jeronima y también soy profesora universitaria.

    Quiero contactarme con ella.
    En esta región hay varios apellidos vascos y sobre todo sus gentes cuentan con rasgos que los caracterizan. Deseo saber mas.

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