Women leaders from 3 Md. universities receive $3 million grant to diversify higher ed leadership

Six women leaders from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Morgan State University; and the University of Maryland, College Park received a $3 million grant to help diversify senior leadership in the arts and humanities in higher education.

The Andrew Mellon Foundation awarded the grant to found the program Breaking the MOLD (Mellon/Maryland Opportunities for Leadership Development).

While there are programs to diversify leadership in STEM fields, this program is different. In a statement, UMBC said that the program seeks to “develop a pipeline to higher ed leadership for scholars in the arts and humanities.”



A focus will be on getting more women, as well as Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native people, into faculty positions, the university said.

Two professors from each university — all women, five of whom are Black — are leading the project.

The professors from UMBC are Kimberly Moffitt, interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of language, literacy, and culture; and vice provost for faculty affairs Patrice McDermott.

From Morgan State, they are Patricia Williams Lessane, associate vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of sociology and anthropology; and Charlene Chester, assistant dean for the James H. Gilliam College of Liberal Arts.

From the University of Maryland, College Park, they are Psyche Williams-Forson, professor and chair of American studies; and Bonnie Thornton Dill, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and professor in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

“This experienced team of diverse senior leaders has an opportunity to create a structural answer to elevate diverse leaders from the arts and humanities,” Moffitt said in the statement. “This will enable faculty to apply distinct knowledge, skills and perspectives to address our communities’ needs as leaders at their respective institutions.”

Each university has their own unique program for diversifying senior leadership. You can find out more in the statement from UMBC.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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Education News | Local News | Maryland News

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Morgan State | umbc | umd

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