Dean Dr. Jesse Peters will serve as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs starting July 1, taking over for Provost Dr. Barbara Morris, who is becoming president at the State University of New York – Oneonta. Dr. Peters continues to teach Native American literature classes, and recently was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation that will bring visiting indigenous scholars to FLC, help diversify the curriculum, and expand undergraduate research in the humanities.
"I am excited to begin working with the incoming president as we build upon the strengths of Fort Lewis while crafting a strong vision for the future,” he says. “I came here to lead the school of Arts and Sciences and plan on being here a very long time. Though I’ve only been here about a year, I’m happy to move into the role of provost with the support of faculty and staff. If I can provide leadership that helps us move forward, it will be my honor and pleasure. I love this institution and am committed to serving our students.”
Dr. Peters received his A.A. from Oxford College of Emory University and his B.A. from Emory College of Emory University. Both his M.A. and Ph.D. are from the University of New Mexico. Before coming to Fort Lewis College, he was a tenured full professor in the departments of American Indian Studies and English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
While on the faculty at UNC Pembroke, Dr. Peters served the university in many capacities. He served as dean of the Esther G. Maynor Honors College for six years, during which time the college received a $1.4 million-dollar endowment. He also solidified that program, revising the curriculum and graduation requirements, developing living-learning communities, increasing the diversity of the student body, and expanding co-curricular activities. He served as director of Undergraduate Research for six years as well, and he developed the annual undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity Center.
Dr. Peters was elected chair of the UNCP Faculty Senate as an untenured assistant professor and then worked to expand the duties and roles of the senate chair. He served on the Faculty Senate for almost half the years he was on the faculty and chaired the Academic Affairs Committee, the Committee on Committees and Elections, the Faculty and Institutional Affairs Committee, and the Faculty Governance Committee. He has also served on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Student Affairs and Campus Life Committee. He also co-founded ReVisions: Best Student Essays of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and served as co-editor. He serves on the National Collegiate Honors Council Honors Semesters Committee and frequently co-facilitates national faculty institutes on experiential learning.