Jackie Krasas ’87, associate dean of interdisciplinary programs and international initiatives, has been named the new deputy provost for faculty affairs at Lehigh. She will succeed Robert Flowers, who held the position for three years before being named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Krasas will assume her new role on July 1.
In this position, Krasas will support the provost by acting as a key representative on faculty issues including shared governance, tenure and promotion policies, faculty work/life balance, mentoring, career development, supervising the faculty personnel review process, and serving as an advisor to Lehigh’s faculty, Faculty Senate, department chairs, and deans on the requirements of rules and procedures in regard to faculty personnel policies. She will collaborate with the vice provost for institutional research and strategic analytics on the COACHE Initiative (The Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education), which administers and interprets surveys designed to gauge faculty satisfaction and their experiences and views on several important areas of their work lives.
Krasas will also continue the work stemming from Lehigh’s second NSF ADVANCE grant (NSF ADVANCE PLAN IHE), which targets a level playing field for women associate professors in STEM fields. She served as co-PI and part of the leadership team on the first Lehigh NSF ADVANCE grant for the duration of the grant and its one-year no-cost extension from 2010-2016, and also as one of two social science researchers on the grant.
“We are thrilled that Jackie has accepted the position of deputy provost of faculty affairs,” said Pat Farrell, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As a well-regarded academic and administrator, Jackie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role. I am confident she will provide exceptional support to our faculty.”
Krasas, currently a faculty member in the department of sociology and anthropology, has served as associate dean of interdisciplinary programs and international initiatives since fall 2014. In this role, she has worked on curriculum design, program leadership development, and special projects with directors and faculty for more than 20 interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. She arrived at Lehigh in 2005 as the first full-time dedicated director of the Women’s Studies Program (now Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies), and she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses.
Krasas received a bachelor of arts degree in social relations from Lehigh and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology with a specialty in gender studies from the University of Southern California. Prior to her arrival at Lehigh, she served for 10 years as a faculty member in the department of labor and employment relations at Penn State, where she also directed the master’s program in industrial relations and human resources.
Her scholarship focuses on gender, race and employment inequality, masculinities, work and family, sexual harassment, and non-standard work. Her 2000 book, Temps: The Many Faces of the Changing Workplace, analyzes the rise in temporary employment and the experience of temporary workers in terms of race, gender, power, and identity. Her forthcoming book, to be published by Cornell University Press, explores the changing landscape of contemporary motherhood through the lens of child custody.
Krasas said she was attracted to the many aspects of her new role. Evaluating and making recommendations for policy, she said, is particularly appealing to her, given her background as a sociologist.
“R&P [rules and procedures of the faculty] can be an intimidating document, and so I really like the idea of being someone that people can rely on to help them navigate that terrain when it comes to these really important matters that affect their lives,” she said. “I also hope to continue the progress that we've made institutionalizing what we have learned through our experiences with NSF ADVANCE.”
She said she looks forward to playing a key role in the faculty experience at Lehigh and plans to continue “having an ear to the ground” to learn how to best support faculty throughout their careers.
“One of the most important things that we do as faculty on this campus—other than our primary activities around scholarship and educating students—is bringing new colleagues along in their careers and evaluating them for promotion and tenure. That’s a secondary but highly important task that we have as faculty, and absolutely we should do it really well,” she said. “In this role, I will work with faculty from the minute they get here until they retire, and everything that happens during life in between that. It's kind of astounding to think about having that connection with faculty at all those different nodes of their lives, and I think it is a tremendous privilege.”
Krasas said she believes the combination of 30 years of scholarly work on employment issues and her extensive administrative experience have prepared her well for this role.
“Everything I have done in my career intersects with this position,” she said. “All the different facets of my work—whether it’s my service or my scholarship or even my teaching on the subject—it all dovetails into this job. I study employment more broadly, but I also do work specifically on faculty and changes in higher education. Since those are the issues that have animated my career, I feel really fortunate to be able to do this job. It will definitely keep me interested and on my toes.”
Members of the search committee included Christine Cole, professor of school psychology; Lyndon Dominique, associate professor of English; Heather Hosfeld, deputy general counsel; Vince Munley, professor of economics; Sibel Pamukcu, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Halcyon Skinner, associate professor and associate dean for research in the College of Health; and Janele Krzywicki, faculty affairs manager, who provided support.