Laura Jenks

Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff

As Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Chief of Staff, Laura Jenks provides oversight of the affairs and activities of the Provost’s Office and coordination on a range of major University-wide efforts, from the 10-year strategic planning process and BU’s ongoing COVID response, to the management of dean searches and University Council.

She supports the programmatic efforts of the Office of the Provost by facilitating the flow of information and communications with the schools, colleges, and administrative units across the University, as well as with the Board of Trustees and the Board of Overseers. In addition to working with staff to manage the flow of issues and projects, she works closely with Associate Provosts, Deans, and the Faculty Council to ensure that planning and initiatives are progressing effectively.

Laura joined the Provost’s Office in October 2018. She previously served as a Senior Associate at Opus Partners, an executive search firm based in Philadelphia, where she oversaw leadership searches for some of the nation’s premier universities. Prior to that, Laura was Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration at Washington University in St. Louis. In that role, she managed strategic communications and projects on behalf of the Executive Vice Chancellor, including a range of high-profile projects that spanned community partnerships, capital improvements, and risk management – among them the development of a new strategic plan for student housing and the creation of a staff ombuds office. She has additionally served as Charter Systems Manager for Democracy Prep Public Schools, overseeing operations, accountability, and compliance for three public charter schools in Camden, New Jersey.

An expert in higher education organization and project management, Laura holds a BA in African and Afro-American Studies and Sociology from Brandeis University, and a Master of Social Work and Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis, where she earned distinction as a Charles F. Knight Scholar, awarded for highest academic achievement in the Olin Business School.