Welcome New A&S Dean

April 8, 2024

New arts and sciences dean announced

Dr. Monica J. Casper, who will join 鶹AV on August 1, is known as a ‘visionary and transparent leader.’

Dr. Monica J. Casper has been appointed the next Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Currently serving as Special Assistant to the President on Gender-Based Violence and Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University (SDSU), Dr. Casper will join 鶹AV on August 1.

Current College of Arts and Sciences Dean David Powers, PhD, who has led the college for the past 15 years, will be leaving his role for a sabbatical and subsequently will return to SU as a faculty member in the psychology department.

“I am incredibly excited to become part of 鶹AV's diverse, vibrant and intellectually rigorous community. Grounded in the Jesuit tradition and also deeply forward-looking, the College of Arts and Sciences melds academic excellence with community and global engagement,” Dr. Casper says. “This leadership opportunity is unprecedented as we navigate the challenges of our time and I could not be happier or more proud to be joining you as a campus leader. I am also eager to return to the Seattle area, where both of my children were born and where I hope to put down roots.” 

To this role at SU Dr. Casper will bring extensive leadership in higher education. In her current role, she chairs a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Gender-Based Violence to improve campus climate and safety. Prior to this, she served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at SDSU. 

Assuming the deanship as the COVID pandemic was taking hold, Dr. Casper steered the college through an extraordinarily challenging time. Under her leadership, the college increased student retention and graduation rates, particularly for underrepresented students, launched new degrees and centers and bolstered research support for faculty and undergraduates. In Dr. Casper’s first year as dean, the college raised $7.5 million, doubling its goal. She centered sustainability and the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations as a theme for the entire college to address. 

Before arriving at SDSU, Dr. Casper held key leadership roles at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Vanderbilt. Running through all the positions in academia is a strong commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. She is known and respected as a visionary and transparent leader who fosters and builds humane learning communities and workplaces. In addition, she has engaged meaningfully with the wider community, serving as a chair or board member for a number of nonprofits and organizations dedicated to the health and wellness of women, children and marginalized people, as well as the environment. 

A highly productive and influential scholar, Dr. Casper has written and lectured extensively on gender, health, trauma and violence, among other subjects. She has authored or coauthored eight books, including Babylost: Racism, Survival, and the Quiet Politics of Infant Mortality, from A to Z, which was published in 2022, and the forthcoming Who Belongs? Institutional Betrayal in Higher Education