Philip Williams has been named Oregon State University’s new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, effective Sept. 16.

He currently serves as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Previously, he served as director of the federally funded Center for Latin American Studies and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida. He received his master of philosophy in Latin American studies and doctor of philosophy in politics from the University of Oxford. He is a distinguished scholar of political science and Latin American studies, and his scholarly expertise centers on issues of democratization, transitional justice, religion and politics, social movements, and transnational migration. Among many other publications, he is author of "Living 'Illegal': The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration" and "A Place to Be: Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Mexican Immigrants in Florida's New Destinations."

As dean at Cal Poly, Williams led initiatives to invest in faculty research and creative work as well as support student success, including developing the college’s first ever summer undergraduate research/creative activity program, increasing equitable access to high impact learning experiences, and launching a global engagement grants program to provide more international educational opportunities for first generation and underrepresented students. He has a long record of commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, including his advocacy in support of undocumented students, and working with community-based organizations to bring more diverse arts programming to the campus and community. Under his leadership at Cal Poly, the college carried out two DEI-focused cluster hires, one of which resulted in hiring 11 new tenure-track faculty across eight different departments.

He will also hold an appointment as professor of political science in CLA’s School of Public Policy.