WFU names Jackie Krasas Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Wake Forest University has named Jackie Krasas, Ph.D., as the new Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1. A highly-regarded sociology and women’s, gender and sexuality studies scholar, Krasas comes to Wake Forest from Lehigh University, where she currently serves as deputy provost for faculty affairs.

“Dr. Krasas brings extensive scholarship, teaching and administrative experience to her role as Dean,” said Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente. “I am confident she will further enhance and extend Wake Forest’s reputation for academic and research excellence, while developing new ways to ensure our faculty and students flourish.”

Krasas will take on a new role for the University that encompasses oversight of both the Undergraduate College and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The College has 30 academic departments and 16 interdisciplinary programs. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences offers 30 master and doctoral degree programs.

“Dr. Krasas is an outstanding academic leader. She has a remarkable talent for integrating ideas and programs, fostering collaborations and creating sustainable structures that support the best teaching, learning and research at the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Provost Michele Gillespie. “I could not be more delighted that Jackie will be leading our college and graduate school.”

President Wente and Provost Gillespie announced Krasas’ appointment today in an email to the campus community.

“Coming into the Dean role at Wake Forest feels like a natural coalescence of the many areas of academic life that have been so important to me throughout my career,” Krasas said. “What especially drew me to Wake Forest is the devotion to the teacher-scholar model, the strong liberal arts foundation, and of course, the lived practice of Pro Humanitate.”

As deputy provost at Lehigh, Krasas leads a team who manages the full range of faculty employment including recruitment and hiring, faculty development, and promotion and tenure, and has led several major initiatives including a university-wide faculty salary equity and benchmarking study. Under her leadership, Lehigh joined the Aspire IChange Network, and became a partner in a multi-institutional effort funded by the National Science Foundation which aims to increase racial diversity among STEM faculty and provide a foundation for inclusive teaching and mentoring across the institution.

Krasas has extensive experience with interdisciplinary work. She served as associate dean for interdisciplinary programs and international initiatives for six years after directing the university’s women, gender and sexuality studies program for nearly a decade.

Krasas’ scholarship focuses on gender, race and employment inequality, work and family, sexual harassment, and non-standard work. Her 2000 book, “Temps: The Many Faces of the Changing Workplace,” analyzes the rise in temporary employment and the experience of temporary workers in terms of race, gender, power and identity. Her most recent book, “Still a Mother” (2021), sheds light on contemporary motherhood through a reproductive justice lens on child custody.

She has taught a variety of courses from introductory sociology and research methods to seminars focused on social theory and workplace inequalities. She will hold a faculty appointment at Wake Forest in the women’s, gender and sexuality studies department.

Krasas received a bachelor of arts degree in social relations from Lehigh and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology with a specialty in gender studies from the University of Southern California. Prior to her arrival at Lehigh, she served for 10 years as a faculty member in the department of labor and employment relations at Penn State, where she also directed the master’s program in industrial relations and human resources.

The search committee was chaired by Gillespie and Dean Franco, Director of the Humanities Institute and Winifred W. Palmer Professor of English.

“Dr. Krasas impressed the search committee with her skills as a deep and thoughtful listener and very effective communicator,” Franco said. “She is a brilliant scholar who understands the core value of liberal arts education and can help lead us as we grow and develop to meet new challenges.”

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