RWU Appoints Jeffrey Meriwether as Dean of School of Humanities, Arts and Education

Associate dean and longtime history professor at RWU, Meriwether begins serving as SHAE Dean on July 1

By Jill Rodrigues '05
Jeffrey Meriwether

BRISTOL, R.I. – A distinguished historian with more than 20 years of experience in teaching and administrative leadership roles at Roger Williams University, Jeffrey Meriwether has been selected as the next dean of the Feinstein School of Humanities, Arts and Education (SHAE).  

Currently serving as SHAE associate dean, Meriwether is a professor of European, African and military history. He also acted as SHAE interim dean from January through June 2018, when the University created the School of Humanities, Arts and Education and the School of Social and Natural Sciences within the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences. 

“Dr. Meriwether is a highly regarded scholar with a proven leadership record at RWU. His experience and extensive knowledge of working with our liberal arts programming, partnering with faculty across the schools, and dedication to student success provide an excellent foundation for his leadership of the School of Humanities, Arts and Education,” said RWU President Ioannis Miaoulis. “He takes the helm at an exciting time, as Roger Williams begins implementing our strategic plan and a key focus area will be the redesign of our general education delivery, where SHAE has particularly important contributions to make.” 

Following a four-month search, Meriwether was selected from among a strong slate of highly qualified candidates. 

“Jeffrey has earned a reputation at RWU as a systems thinker and skillful communicator who is committed to student success. His experience on the faculty, as well as his prior service as interim dean and associate dean mean he is exceptionally well-prepared to step into this role and lead SHAE. I'm so thrilled he will be joining our academic leadership team and ensuring that SHAE plays a strong role in the implementation of our strategic plan.”  

Meriwether will begin serving as SHAE dean on July 1. He will be taking over for inaugural Dean Cynthia Scheinberg, who will return to full-time teaching at RWU. 

“I have made RWU my home throughout my career and I am honored to serve now as dean, continuing my collaborative work with the faculty and furthering the development of our outstanding students and alumni,” Meriwether said. “SHAE programs are at the heart of a liberal arts education. We augment our students’ development as dreamers, thinkers, and creators, as they consistently put the human in humanities.” 

Meriwether holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Western Washington University and a history Ph.D. from the University of Exeter, specializing in British military studies.  

He arrived at RWU in 2001, where he has taught history for 21 years and worked for five years in administration as interim dean and associate dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Education, associate dean of the School of Social and Natural Sciences, and assistant dean for operations of the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences. Across these roles, he has worked with deans on academic planning, led significant growth in the summer and winter academic programming, improved student development and retention, served as chair of the Department of History and American Studies and as assistant director of the University Honors Program. A beloved history professor, his most popular courses are Modern Southern Africa, The Great War, and 19th-Century Europe. 

A prolific scholar, he has authored research articles on modern European, imperialism, political and military history, numerous book reviews and original short fiction. His most recent works include U.S. Military Detention Operations in Post-Abu Ghraib Iraq and an essay in an anthology, ‘Always Look Up!’ Context, Complexity, and Passion in History Education

Meriwether is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and historical reenactor with His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, where he serves as training officer and Captain of Grenadiers.