Meet the Provost

Academic Affairs

Sacramento State
6000 J Street 
Sacramento, CA 95819-6016 
Phone: (916) 278-6331 
Fax: (916) 278-7648

Sunny Quad sm


 Harmsen photo

Frederika (Fraka) Harmsen
Provost and Vice President for 
Academic Affairs

Dr. Fraka Harmsen was appointed as the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at California State University, Sacramento in February 2014. Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and raised in New Zealand, Dr. Harmsen attended Victoria University receiving her BSc (1st class honors) in Geology in 1979 and Ph.D. in Geology in 1984.  She moved to the United States that year after accepting a position as a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow at the University of Montana.

Dr. Harmsen has a wide range of administrative and academic experiences in higher education gained during 29 years of service within the CSU System.  A professor of geology, she has also served as the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico, and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and the Chair of Earth and Environmental Sciences at California State University, Fresno. In 1989/90, Dr. Harmsen was the visiting scientist at San Jose State University’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratory.

Dr. Harmsen has served on numerous campus-wide committees and has led initiatives in student success and retention, technology and program enhancement, research and creative activities, academic policy and planning, and student diversity.  A few of her major accomplishments include leadership in the innovative use of technology in teaching and learning, and promotion of excellence in academic practice; the founding of the Institute for Climate, Oceans and Atmosphere, and the creation of a highly interdisciplinary Center for Water and the Environment. In 2006, she was recognized for outstanding service to the university and the community.

Dr. Harmsen has broad national and international experience gained from collaborations with several teaching and research institutions throughout the world and field expeditions to far flung corners of the globe including exploration of the TransAntarctic Mountains. She developed the highly successful GE focused South Pacific Semester based in New Zealand and Australia, led campus international strategic planning, and served on the Fulbright-Hays Institute of International Education Committee.

Her recent research has focused in three broad areas: climate change and sustainability, marine habitat mapping for ecosystem based management, and STEM education.  She has numerous publications and reports, and over $3 million in federal funding that has supported 56 graduate and undergraduate students.  She recently served on the CSU Executive Committee for the Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology.

Dr. Harmsen embodies a collaborative leadership style, and has a strong belief in shared governance. She is committed to helping faculty succeed in the critical role they play in providing an enriching education experience to students and preparing them as future citizens and leaders who can make a positive impact in the world.


Cheryl J. Johnson 
Executive Assistant -

Kathy Mine 
Secretary -