Jennifer Francis, Ph.D., was appointed Interim Provost of Duke University on January 1, 2023. As Interim Provost, Francis serves as the chief academic officer, responsible for the university's teaching and research mission, developing the institution's intellectual priorities and overseeing their implementation. She also oversees Duke’s partnership with Duke Kunshan University (DKU), and serves as chair of the DKU Board of Trustees. Previously, Francis served as Executive Vice Provost (2018-2022), Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (2017-2022), and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor of DKU (2021-2022). In February 2020, Francis was appointed by President Price to co-lead Duke’s COVID-19 management strategy.
Francis is the Robert L. Dickens Distinguished Professor of Business Administration. She earned a B.S. in accounting at Bucknell University (1983), and after working at Price Waterhouse, pursued her M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University (1987). Francis joined the Duke faculty in 1987, then served on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago (1991-1999), returning in 1999 to the faculty of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. While at Fuqua, she served as Senior Associate Dean of Programs (2011-2016) and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty (2006-2009). She also assisted the school’s initiative to develop a business school at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan.
Her research interests focus on the quality of financial reporting (notably earnings quality) and the relevance of financial reports to capital market participants. Her most recent work examines how non-random sampling approaches significantly understate, or even mask, relations between stock returns and estimates used to approximate firms’ cost of equity. Francis has taught core and elective MBA classes, from managerial and financial accounting to valuation and global strategy. She has received more than a dozen awards for outstanding teaching.