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Provost Peter Starr

Peter Starr is provost and chief academic officer at American University and a professor of literature. Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Starr served as dean of AU’s College of Arts and Sciences for 11 years.

As the College’s dean, Dr. Starr co-led the development of the AU Core curriculum, the first substantive revision of the university’s general education offerings in 27 years. He also made significant contributions to the path-breaking Reinventing the Student Experience (RiSE) project and raised nearly $100M to further the College’s goals.

In his time at AU, Dr. Starr has helped to increase external funding of faculty scholarship and overseen the establishment of such highly productive research entities as the Antiracist Research and Policy Center; the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience; the Center on Health, Risk and Society; the Institute for Integrated Space Science and Technology (with NASA); and the AU Game Lab.

Throughout his AU career, Dr. Starr has demonstrated a commitment to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, to supporting and enhancing shared governance structures, and to building bridges to partner organizations in the DC community and around the globe.

Prior to joining the Eagle family, Dr. Starr was a professor of French and comparative literature at the University of Southern California, where—except for a fellowship year at Harvard University—he had taught since 1985. He served as interim dean of USC’s College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences from 2006-2007. Dr. Starr holds a BA with distinction from Stanford University, as well as an MA in French and PhD in comparative literature from The Johns Hopkins University.