CWU News

CWU Announces New Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities

CWU College of Arts and Humanities Dean Jill HernandezCWU Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Life Katherine Frank has announced the hiring of Jill Graper Hernandez to become the next dean of CWU’s College of Arts and Humanities (CAH). Hernandez will begin her new role on August 1.

“Dr. Hernandez impressed the university with her knowledge, ideas, and passion,” said Frank, in announcing the appointment. “She is bringing valuable experience to the university, and I am looking forward to working with her as part of the Academic and Student Life leadership team.”

Hernandez is currently the associate dean of University College and a professor of philosophy at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

"It’s a privilege to join Central at a moment when the university has committed itself to inclusive excellence and high-impact, engaged learning across the disciplines,” Hernandez said. “The College of Arts and Humanities is the heartbeat of Central's liberal arts mission, and is a leader in enriching students' lives through the creative enterprise, innovative pedagogy, and community-focused experiences. The faculty are dedicated to facilitating generational and geographical change for CWU students, and I can't wait to join them in their endeavors."

CWU’s CAH incorporates the departments of Art and Design, Communication, English, History, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Theatre Arts, and World Languages and Cultures, along with interdisciplinary program offerings in Africana and Black Studies, Asian Studies, and Latino and Latin American Studies.

At UTSA, Hernandez has served in a variety of other administrative posts, including associate dean of Undergraduate Studies. She also led numerous student success initiatives to increase student graduation rates, improve the student experience, strengthen student services, develop faculty and student mentorship, and grow graduate programs there.

Hernandez is also widely published on topics including ethics, early modern philosophy, and existentialism.  She has won national and international recognition for her research and teaching, including a faculty award from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the International Journal of Philosophical Studies Robert B. Papazian International Prize in Ethics.

Hernandez received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Taylor University, in Upland, Indiana; her Master of Arts in philosophy from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; and her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Memphis, Tennessee.

Hernandez will come to Ellensburg with her husband, Gustavo, and their two daughters, Allie, who is looking forward to becoming a freshman at CWU next fall, and Sofie, 11.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,