Dean Feng Sheng Hu oversees all aspects of the operations and programs in Arts & Sciences, including strategic planning and implementation; faculty hiring, tenure, and promotion; the appointments of the deans of the College and the Office of Graduate Studies; research, creative activity, and innovation; budget and resource planning; diversity, inclusion, and equity; communications and marketing; alumni relations and advancement; facilities and capital planning; and information technology services.
Hu became dean of Arts & Sciences in July 2020. He is widely recognized for his innovative, interdisciplinary research on long-term ecosystem dynamics in relation to climate change.
Prior to his appointment at Washington University in St. Louis, Hu was a longtime leader and faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2017–20, he served as the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Previously, as associate dean for life and physical sciences, he worked with science departments to promote research, teaching, innovation, and public service. He was head of and a professor in the Department of Plant Biology and was the Ralph E. Grim Professor of Geology.
The author of some 130 scholarly articles in publications including Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hu has received extensive research funding from federal agencies, including numerous grants from the National Science Foundation. He has served as an editor for several leading scientific journals, including Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Ecosystems, and Geology.
Hu was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008. He has been named a Packard Fellow in Science and Engineering, a University Scholar of the University of Illinois, a Fulbright Scholar, and a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America.