WFU announces plan for College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences


To enhance learning opportunities and better support coordination across undergraduate and graduate programs, Wake Forest University will make a strategic change to appoint one individual as both Dean of the College and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The innovative step is being made in response to what faculty shared in Dean of the College search listening sessions and the ongoing dialogues with the University community through the Strategic Framework process.

“Placing the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences under the leadership of one person will strengthen relationships, support recruitment of the best students and faculty and better align the resources needed to nurture and sustain both the undergraduate and graduate programs,” Wake Forest President Susan R. Wente said. “This change will enhance the student experience and provide better support to our faculty and staff by aligning structures and support systems.” 

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers 30 master and doctoral degree programs. The College has 30 academic departments and 16 interdisciplinary programs. More than two-thirds of the degree programs offered through the Graduate School are based in academic departments within the College.

“This transition will allow us to build upon and strengthen the many collaborations and shared values that exist between the two schools, including a strong sense of community, academic excellence, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion and the teacher-scholar model,” Provost Michele Gillespie said. “Given the opportunities ahead for radical collaboration and the positive synergies that will result from this integration, this is the right decision at the right time.” 

Earlier this week, Brad Jones, who has served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for more than a decade, announced his plans to step down as Dean. Provost Gillespie shared the news on Nov. 1 in a message to the Wake Forest community.

Dwayne Godwin, Dean of Biomedical Sciences for the Graduate School, will continue to serve in that role.

Through the efforts of the already constituted search committee for the new Dean of the College, the national search for the individual who will be both the new Dean of the College and the new Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will move forward with this new charge and is expected to be completed by spring.

Any further questions may be directed to the search committee at

Categories: Inside WFU