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Meet the Provost
JoAnne A. Epps is executive vice president and provost of Temple University. As Temple's chief academic officer, she oversees all academic policies and activities of the university, and works with deans, faculty and university administrators on matters related to the curriculum, teaching and learning, and faculty research. Her portfolio includes Faculty and Academic Affairs, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, Computer Services and Graduate Education.
For more than three decades, Epps has served Temple as an innovative leader and distinguished educator. She has continually demonstrated her commitment to the university's mission of providing a high quality education that is both accessible and affordable, and elevating its national and international stature. Epps has been widely regarded as an influential leader in legal education, and brings to her new role as provost the same passion, integrity and commitment to service that characterized her deanship at the Beasley School of Law.
As dean of the Law School, a position she held from 2008 to 2016 when appointed provost, Epps was known as an outspoken advocate for legal education that emphasizes institutional responsiveness. She has been consistently recognized by National Jurist as one of the 25 most influential leaders in legal education. Her commitment to curricular innovation and experiential legal education has garnered significant praise and national recognition for the Law School. It also inspired the creation of the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple Law School, which introduces students to the many roles that lawyers can play in securing access to civil justice.
Epps’ professional leadership and impact extend beyond her role at Temple. Long a champion for women and minorities within the legal profession, she received the 2016 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. The Philadelphia Bar Association awarded Epps the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Diversity Award in 2014, and the Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Award in 2009, conferred annually on “a woman attorney who has demonstrated superior legal talent, achieved significant legal accomplishments and has furthered the advancement of women in both the profession and the community.”
A highly respected community leader, Epps has served the City of Philadelphia in a variety of capacities, including as a member of Philadelphia’s Board of Ethics, which enforces the city’s election and public integrity laws, and as a monitor of the settlement of Bailey v. City of Philadelphia, a case that challenged the city’s “stop-and-frisk” policies. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Defender Association of Philadelphia since 1991 and, from 1999 to 2006, served as board president.
A gifted teacher, Epps' primary areas of expertise include criminal procedure, evidence and trial advocacy. She continues to teach Litigation Basics, a required course for first-year law students at Temple. Her dedication to law and teaching has carried her around the globe. She has trained Sudanese lawyers representing victims of the Darfur crisis, and taught prosecutors for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Her students have included lawyers from China, Bosnia and Japan.
Prior to coming to Temple, Epps was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia and a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles. She received her BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1972, and is a 1976 graduate of Yale Law School. Epps joined the Temple Law School as a faculty member in 1985 and then served as associate dean for Academic Affairs from 1989 to 2008. She is a native of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania.