AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - After a long search nationwide, Auburn University has effectively selected Jason Hicks to be the next dean of the College of Liberal Arts with his tenure beginning July 1. His duties succeed Ana Franco-Watkins who has served as interim dean since July 2021 and will return as a chair and professor for the university’s Department of Psychological Sciences. 

Interim Provost, Vini Nathan expressed his optimism for the future of the college in a statement this morning. “With the selection of Jason Hicks, I am confident that he will deliver on these goals and foster new levels of innovation and excellence across the college’s instruction, research and outreach programs.”

Hicks has been studying human memory for a large period of his life and began his tenure as an assistant professor of psychology in 1998 at Louisiana State University’s psychology department. He served as chair of the department from 2014 to 2018 serving more than 950 students. He also served as associate dean for LSU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences where he created HSS Future Forward, a program for aspiring departmental leaders. 

Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts compromises 12 schools such as communication and journalism, social sciences, and aviation. Hicks will lead this college which is one of the largest on campus, encompassing nearly 5,000 students.

When Hicks becomes effective dean, his priorities will include the recruitment and retention of CLA faculty, broadening access to courses within the college, and elevating the student experience and leadership development. “The College of Liberal Arts is truly integral to the university’s success. I am eager to enhance the college’s positive impact on students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the college,” Hicks stated.

Jason Hicks will reinforce the core values of the College of Liberal Arts which include, learning and knowledge, inclusion and equity, and engagement and impact.