A Move Toward Greater Diversity in Deanships
In an article that originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, author Julia Piper explores the experiences of Valarie Kinlock as the first black female dean at the University of Pittsburgh. Kinlock, the dean of the School of Education, didn’t realize she was the first when she was hired. Since her appointment, she has gone from being the only black female dean at the university to being one of two. She emphasizes the need for more conversations about racism as more people of color progress to leadership roles.
The article highlights data on the gender of university deans, including the AACTE report published last year: Colleges of Education: A National Portrait. According to the AACTE research, the “average” dean of a college of education is a white woman.
In addition to profiling Kinlock, the author spotlights the first woman and first Native American dean at S. J. Quinner College of Law. Kinlock shares the importance of having a structure in place for women of color who serve as deans, and hopes those serving in these roles can come together and form a community of support.