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President, Western Oregon University
Dr. Jesse Peters has the distinction of being Western’s 25th president. As a first-generation college student, he believes in the ability of higher education to bring about meaningful change in the world. For Dr. Peters, creating a positive and collaborative environment where faculty and staff work together is critical to an active and productive campus community. Dr. Peters joins Western from Fort Lewis College where he served as the Dean of Arts and Sciences and the Interim Provost for one year. He oversaw the development of new programs in Environmental Science, Health Science, Nutrition, Computer Engineering, Borders and Languages, and Musical Theatre. He was instrumental in the reorganization of the school into divisions to increase interdisciplinarity and encourage innovation and collaboration. In 2017, he was awarded a $500,000 Mellon Foundation Grant to promote inclusive pedagogies and strengthen DEI initiatives. Currently, he serves on the National Collegiate Honors Council Honors Semesters Committee as well as the Diversity Committee, and he frequently co-facilitates national faculty institutes on experiential learning. Dr. Peters earned his associates degree at Oxford College of Emory University and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emory University with a bachelors in English. He was awarded his masters in English and his doctorate in English focusing on Native American Literature from the University of New Mexico.