Jackie Krasas, deputy provost for Faculty Affairs, will become the dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Wake Forest University starting this summer. She is leaving Lehigh after almost 20 years.
It is unknown who will fill the deputy provost position.
Krasas came to Lehigh in 2005 to direct the women’s studies program and did not enter the deputy provost for faculty affairs position until 2020.
She worked on Lehigh’s NSF ADVANCE grant, which funds research and professional development for faculty. She specifically worked to increase representation of women faculty in STEM.
“My background is in workplace inequalities — so race, gender, sexuality in the workplace,” Krasas said. “That’s why the ADVANCE grant was part of something that I was seeking.”
Krasas also taught several courses in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies department.
Monica Najar, director of the women, gender and sexuality studies department, was working at Lehigh when Krasas joined the team.
“We felt so lucky to recruit her to be director of the (women, gender and sexuality studies department) program,” Najar said. “I have happily worked with her for many years.”
When Krasas first joined, the department was known as the women’s studies department and did not offer a major.
Najar said Krasas helped establish it as a major and graduate certificate, while also building up the program’s faculty and teaching courses in sociology and anthropology.
Krasas said she also fought for faculty pay changes, which became effective at the start of this year.
“One of the things that I’ve done in this role that I feel most satisfied with is the salary equity and benchmarking study that we did,” Krasas said.
Danielle Lindemann, professor of sociology and anthropology, worked closely with Krasas.
“When I came in about seven years ago, she really took me under her wing… and that’s not something that she had to do,” Lindemann said. “I think that just really speaks to the type of person that she is and the type of faculty member that she is.”
After nine years directing the program, Krasas was invited to become the first College of Arts and Sciences associate dean, which was a newly created position.
When the deputy provost for faculty affairs became available in 2020, she said she applied because it connected to her background in workplace inequality and faculty employment.
Krasas said her experience as the associate dean has prepared her for the deputy provost role at Wake Forest.
Krasas said there are no factors pushing her away from Lehigh, just factors pulling her toward Wake Forest. After learning more about Wake Forest and the position, she felt it was something she “just really couldn’t pass up.”
“It just seems like the right time to try a new adventure or a new opportunity and take on something after I’ve had all these experiences here that I can apply there,” Krasas said. “But the things about Wake Forest that I love and appreciate are some of the very same things that I love and appreciate about Lehigh.”
Najar said Krasas is leaving big shoes to fill but is optimistic as administration embarks on the search for a new deputy provost.
Krasas said she is unaware if an internal or external search has started.
Lindemann hopes the next deputy provost for faculty affairs will uphold some of Krasas’ core values.
“Incorporating and providing space for marginalized communities is going to be a huge part of (Krasas’) legacy,” Lindemann said. “I would like to see that with the next dean as well.”
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