Jennifer Friend selected for CAS Dean


Brianna Cook

Dean of the College of Applied Studies Jennifer Friend answers questions about how she would make the college better on Oct. 3. Friend was announced as dean on Oct. 28.

The College of Applied Studies can expect to see a focus on diversity and inclusion after Provost Shirley Lefever’s selection of new dean Jennifer Friend. With most of her experience and projects founded in Kansas City, Friend is an advocate for racial inclusivity and is eager to expand that to a different urban environment.

“What it speaks to me about … the College of Applied Studies is that thirst for innovation, for thinking outside of the box, for being able to take risks and being creative,” she said. “Having that different drummer to march to can sometimes lead to innovation and a thriving organization.”

Friend formerly served as an associate provost for academic affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Rockhurst University. A tenured education professor, she also served as a middle school teacher and principal for 13 years. 

“I’m starting my 31st year in education and thinking about what kind of impact I can make with this next stage of … educational leadership,” Friend said.

With a focus on empowering strengths and advancing technological literacy, Friend is excited for a new journey with the College of Applied Studies. 

“Another thing that really draws me to WSU is the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, both in the College of Applied Studies and across the university,” Friend said. “At this particular college or university, I’ve been very impressed with the student-centered nature.”

Friend will start as dean on Jan. 9, 2023.

More information about Friend can be found at