[PAST EVENT] Higher Ed Salon: College Presidents and Racial Unrest
The Higher Ed Salon brings together students, faculty and community members to discuss new ideas and trends in higher education. The Spring 2017 salon features one of our own professors, Eddie Cole, for a timely discussion on how university leadership has responded to racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations in the past.
Dr. Cole was selected to receive the 2015–16 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, one of the most prestigious early-career research awards for education researchers. He is examining how college presidents and chancellors positioned themselves within the national dialogue about desegregation and civil rights in the early 1960s.
“My study’s focus on academic leaders runs counter to the prevailing historical narrative about the Civil Rights Era, which usually focused on students as activists or governors and other elected officials as segregationists,” Cole explains. “By examining presidents’ and chancellors’ responses to students’ demonstrations, and how these responses varied among private and public colleges, historically Black and traditionally White colleges, and across regions, this study offers the first historical account of academic leaders’ approach to leadership, democracy, and education during one of America’s most notable racial crises.”
Ultimately, Dr. Cole aims for this book project to provide new insights on the historical role of college presidents in the debate over social change on college campuses.