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New Dean for Professional & Extended Studies School

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Carola Weil, new Dean for AU's School of Professional and Extended Studies. Photo courtesy of USC.

American University has named Carola Weil, a veteran administrator in higher education, not-for-profit, and international settings, to be the inaugural dean of its School of Professional and Extended Studies (SPExS), formerly the Washington Professional Development program.  

Weil is currently director for international and strategic partnerships for the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism’s East Coast office in Washington, D.C. where she leads the development of collaborative, applied research, and public service projects with partners in the academic, non-profit, government, international, military, and private sectors.

She will serve as dean designate beginning August 15 and will assume the position of dean on September 17, 2012.

“Dr. Weil’s view of life-long learning as a key means to educational access and as an essential link between academic, business, government, and non-governmental sectors in both driving innovation and providing greater equality of access to opportunities in society will be instrumental in the continued enhancement and development of the programs within the school,” said Provost Scott Bass in announcing the appointment.

“To remain relevant and a core pillar of human progress and society, higher education must reach out to new audiences and embrace innovative learning and teaching methods that are relevant to practitioners but also uphold tried and true principles of intellectual rigor,” said Weil. “I am excited to be part of an organization as deeply committed to cutting edge, state-of-the art liberal arts education for the 21st century and beyond as the American University.”

During her career at USC’s Annenberg School, Weil has held multiple positions and developed new programs. She helped launch the school’s first online MA in Communication Management, assisted in the development of a new innovation and design laboratory, and helped establish several interdisciplinary programs in fields such as economic literacy, sports media, and entrepreneurship. In addition, Weil served as assistant dean and later associate dean for Planning and Strategic Initiatives.

The Washington Professional Development program combined Washington Semester, the oldest experiential learning program in the country, Washington Internships for Native Students, Washington Graduate Gateway, Washington Mentorship and International Gateway programs. In March, these combined programs became the newly named School of Professional and Extended Studies—AU’s first new school since 1984 when the Department of Communication in the College of Arts & Sciences became the School of Communication.  

Before joining University of Southern California, Weil held appointments at the United States Institute of Peace, George Washington University, the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Belfer Center, the University of Maryland College Park Center for International Development and Conflict Management, Women in International Security, and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation. She holds an AB in History from Bryn Mawr College, and a MPM, MA and PhD in Political Science from University of Maryland College Park.