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Office of the Provost | Communications


Office of the Provost
Fax: 202-885-2173
Leonard, Room Lower Level

Bass, Scott A.

Office of the Provost
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8061

March 16, 2016

TO: American University Faculty and Staff
FROM: Scott A. Bass, Provost
RE: Jessica Waters, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Waters, associate dean for undergraduate education in the School of Public Affairs, as vice provost for undergraduate studies.

A two-time AU alumna (BA/JD), Waters began teaching as an adjunct professor in the Washington College of Law after working as a litigator, judicial clerk, and communications coordinator. She joined the SPA faculty as an assistant professor and was later appointed as the first director of the Politics, Policy, and Law Scholars Program, eventually serving as the associate dean for undergraduate education.  Waters’ scholarly work focuses on reproductive rights, and particularly the intersection of reproductive rights and religious liberty.  

Waters brings a wealth of experience in undergraduate education to the vice provost position. Within SPA, Waters spearheaded major curriculum revisions, restructured undergraduate advising, and led the creation of the SPA Honors Program. She has served on many school-based and university-wide committees and is currently an integral member of the General Education Task Force, RiSE Task Force, and Sexual Assault Working Group. Often engaged with students outside the classroom, Waters served at their request as the first coach for the AU Mock Trial Team. As coach, she led the team to a 4th place national championship victory.

For her teaching and work with students, Waters was awarded the University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in a Term Faculty Appointment, two SPA teaching awards, and the Chair’s Award for Exemplary service. She is also a two-time recipient of the Women and Politics Institute Alice Paul Award.  Waters is also committed to work within the community, and has served as chair of the Children’s Law Center Advisory Board for the past four years.

As vice provost for undergraduate studies, Waters will oversee the General Education, University College, AU Honors, AU Scholars, Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars, and the Community Based Research Scholars programs. She will also coordinate implementation of the Academic Integrity Code (AIC) and the Undergraduate Academic Regulations, including handling exceptions and appeals on behalf of the provost. As chair of the Academic Associate Deans’ Meeting and co-chair of the University Experience Council, Waters will work closely with key university stakeholders on student retention, academic processes, and regulations.

Vice Provost Designate Waters’ experience as a faculty member, administrator, and an AU student, in addition to her devotion to students and process improvement, provide her with advantageous insight for an undergraduate-focused position of this kind. Please join me in congratulating Jessica Waters on this exciting appointment, which will begin on July 1, 2016.

I want to thank the search committee, led by former Faculty Senate Chair Lacey Wooten, for its assistance in the selection process as well as acknowledge the important role Lyn Stallings provided over the past five years.