John Woods, Chief Academic Officer & Provost of University of Phoenix

John Woods, Provost and Chief Academic Officer

COMPANY: University of Phoenix







John Woods, Ph.D., is the chief academic officer and provost for University of Phoenix and responsible for further developing and fulfilling the University’s academic mission. He is charged with amplifying the University's high-quality, rigorous and career-relevant academic programs, while spurring innovation to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers. He leads a team of academic leaders and more than 3,000 practitioner faculty with applied experience in the disciplines they teach. His office defines student learning outcomes that align with employer expectations, and with the specific skills students should have to improve their performance in today's competitive economy. 


Dr. Woods provides leadership for assessment of student learning, instructional innovation, faculty engagement, the student experience, accreditation, and institutional reporting. 


Dr. Woods is the founding director of the University of Phoenix Career Institute® which annually publishes the Career Optimism Index®. In 2022, Dr. Woods’ insights on the Index were featured in numerous publications including Forbes and Inc. He is active as a speaker on career, workforce and higher education issues at events including the 2022 SHRM conference, 2022 Economic Development Summit of WESTMARC, Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation’s 2022 Workforce Summit, and the 2022 Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE).


Prior to joining University of Phoenix, Dr. Woods served as a dean at a traditional liberal arts college, an adjunct faculty member at numerous institutions over the last twenty-five years, and as chief academic officer for over fifteen years at other institutions serving working adult learners. He began his career in higher education focusing on helping colleges and universities leverage technology for instruction with the Eduprise, Collegis and Deltak family of companies. 


Dr. Woods has been a Trustee of the Worthington Educational Foundation and previously served as a Peer Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission. He currently holds a board seat with Kivuto, a Canadian educational technology company that works with schools to simplify how they manage and distribute the many digital resources used in education for student access. He is a contributing author of a chapter in the book, Doing More With Less: Making Colleges Work Better, and has also had a presentation on self-study and institutional improvement published with the Higher Learning Commission.


Dr. Woods earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University, where the focus of his research was adult learning, training and development, as well as academic honesty policies and procedures. He received a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University.

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