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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Selected

by University Relations

Ushering in the next season of leadership for Azusa Pacific’s largest academic area, President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, announced the selection of Jennifer E. Walsh, Ph.D., as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). A six-month, nationwide search began when former dean David L. Weeks, Ph.D., accepted the role of founding dean of APU’s new Honors College, and culminated when Walsh’s outstanding qualifications distinguished her as the clear selection for the school’s next leader.

She began her role on June 1, 2014, leading more than 130 full-time faculty members and overseeing the college’s nine departments and seven special programs, centers, and institutes. These areas support a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and provide the majority of courses supporting APU’s General Education program. “After serving in various capacities at APU for nearly a decade, I am honored to be the next dean of CLAS,” said Walsh. “David Weeks has left an incredible legacy of teaching, learning, faith integration, and intellectual integrity in a faith-filled context, and has created a strong foundation from which our talented faculty, staff, and students can reach even greater heights in the years to come.”

That platform, coupled with Walsh’s exceptional blend of experience, positions her and CLAS to succeed. In addition to teaching, she spent five years as director of Common Day of Learning and three years as associate dean of CLAS, with significant responsibility over academic and fiscal affairs. As a public policy authority, she was one of the original investigators of the California Three Strikes sentencing law, and her current research agenda includes the influence of affirmative action policies on presidential Supreme Court appointments and the impact of land-use policies on freedom of religion in the U.S. and China.

“Dr. Walsh is uniquely prepared and equipped to author the next chapter of CLAS’ rich contribution to our academy,” said Wallace. “Spend just a few minutes with her and you will catch her enthusiasm for the liberal arts and sciences and their power to mold students into well-rounded, well-informed global citizens with a wide skill set. With a focus on building character and aptitude, Dr. Walsh embraces the responsibility to support emerging and seasoned Christian scholars to influence and shape culture and inform public debate.”

As an articulate advocate for the liberal arts and sciences, Walsh stands poised to do just that. “A strategic thinker, Dr. Walsh’s clear vision for innovation will advance our mission and meet the challenges of Christian higher education ahead,” said Mark Stanton, Ph.D., provost. “She possesses an impressive record of creative leadership, relevant scholarship, and demonstrated commitment to faith integration.”

Walsh draws upon those qualities and her breadth of experience to facilitate an academic environment characterized by innovation, collaboration, and excellence that enables faculty members to educate a new generation of disciples and scholars who can read, write, think, and reason well; who demonstrate integrity in problem solving and decision making; and who live and work as virtuous citizens capable of contributing to the common good. “As the landscape of higher education changes,” said Walsh, “I am excited to help our college demonstrate the current relevancy and timeless value of a Christian education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences.”

Originally published in the Summer '14 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).