SAN JOSE -- San Jose State University provost Ellen Junn is leaving the campus next month, having accepted a similar post at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, officials announced Tuesday.

Junn, who is provost and the vice president of academic affairs, began her career in 1984 as an associate professor at California State University, San Bernardino. She cited her Southern California roots as a reason for her departure.

"It has been a joy getting to know and work with so many wonderful colleagues and students here," she said in a statement. "The opportunity to return to Southern California to be near my family has been a critical factor in my decision."

Before arriving in San Jose in January 2012, Junn was associate provost at CSU Fresno, and officials pointed out numerous accomplishments at that campus as well as SJSU. That including work on the university's graduation rate initiative and developing an academic plan through 2017, as well as establishing grants aimed at upping graduation rates while also advancing new teaching techniques.

SJSU President Mohammed Qayoumi, who praised "Ellen's passion for fostering student success," has begun the transition process and plans to name an interim provost before Junn leaves on Jan. 17.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.