Maffly-Kipp named interim dean of Graduate School, vice provost for graduate education


Laurie Maffly-Kipp, the Archer Alexander Distinguished Professor in the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, has been appointed interim dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, effective July 1.

She will succeed William F. Tate IV, who has been named executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina.

“Laurie is a respected scholar with cross-disciplinary interests in history and religion and a strong administrative background that includes chairing the Religious Studies department at UNC-Chapel Hill and building a premier doctoral program there from the ground up; directing the Religious Studies program at Washington University; and serving as a faculty fellow in the Office of the Provost during the 2019-20 academic year,” said Interim Provost Marion Crain, who made the announcement.

“Laurie’s demonstrated commitment to diversity and her passion for graduate education combined with her compassion for the concerns of students make her the ideal mentor and advocate for Washington University graduate students,” Crain added.

Maffly-Kipp, whose interim appointment will last for two years, will report to Beverly Wendland, who becomes provost July 1, as well as Feng Sheng Hu, incoming dean of the faculty of Arts & Sciences.

Maffly-Kipp has been serving as one of three faculty fellows in the provost’s office since September. In that role, she has overseen the regular review process for several of the university’s centers and institutes.

In her interim position, Maffly-Kipp will be responsible for the university’s graduate education programming, overseeing the quality, programming and management of all PhD- and nonprofessional master’s degree-granting programs.

She will work closely with Arts & Sciences, Olin Business School, the McKelvey School of Engineering, the School of Medicine and the Brown School in supervising doctoral students in the schools’ PhD programs.

Among other responsibilities, she will chair the governing bodies of the Graduate School, including the Graduate Council and the Graduate & Professional Student Coordinating Committee, and manage an annual budget of more than $17 million, with budget responsibility for Graduate School programs, activities and staff.

Maffly-Kipp joined the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics in 2013 after teaching for 24 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Her research and teaching focus on African American religions and intercultural contact between religious groups, including articles on Mormon-Protestant conflicts in the Pacific Islands and the growth of Mormonism internationally.

She is a past president of the American Society of Church History and the Mormon History Association.

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