Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Brown


Jennifer Brown

Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education;
Professor in Public Policy


Could you please tell us about your background?

Jennifer Brown, Ph.D., is the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Riverside. She is a Michigan State University (MSU) alum earning her her Ph.D. in Horticulture.

Brown earned her B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a Minor in Agribusiness, both at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). 

From South Side of Chicago, IL

  • Education: U of Illinois 99’ B.S. Ornamental Horticulture; 01 M.S. Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
  • 04 MSU – Horticulture
  • 04-2015 Faculty Member at Purdue – Assistant and Associate Professor – Joint Appointment in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Department of Agricultural Economics
  • 2015-2018; Professor in Horticulture; Associate Dean (2015-2016) then Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
  • 2018-Present; UCR, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education and Professor of Public Policy

What are your research passions, and what are you currently working on?

My past research focused on consumer behavior and perceptions of horticulture products including consumer intentions to pay for biodegradable containers as well as eye tracking to understand consumer insights into organic and other product differentiation. I have combined passions for both marketing and consumer behavior and consumer insights for landscape and vegetable consumers to help small agribusiness across the U.S. In my extension/engagement roll at Purdue, I also conducted research and held events around the state focusing on farmers’ market rules/regulations/increased food safety protocols/entrepreneurship principles. (legal structure, marketing, etc.). That research has slowed down now and as the Vice Provost and Dean, I want to partner and turn my  attention to the impacts of COVID learning loss on student preparation for college. I want to also study policy implications for items like the associate degree for transfer (ADT) and how it helps improve access for minoritized populations. These topics are less of my academic training but I am very interested in student access and preparation. When I leave administration, I can see having a bifurcated interest in educational policy and continue my research helping agribusinesses with marketing and consumer behavior needs.