Six Women Who Are Stepping Down From Their Higher Education Posts

Melissa Thomas-Hunt, vice provost for strategic initiatives in the Office for Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, has announced she is stepping down from her role and has accepted the position of head of global diversity for Airbnb. As vice provost, she established the Office for Inclusive Excellence which forged ties across all schools and colleges at Vanderbilt. She also developed the Faculty IMPACT leadership development series, various gender-based initiatives, and monthly student roundtables. She was also a professor of management in the Owen Graduate School of Management and served as faculty director for Moore College.

Dr. Thomas-Hunt is a graduate of Princeton University where she majored in chemical engineering. She holds a Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Julie A. Hodge, a longtime faculty member at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has been conferred the title of associate professor emerita of theater. She has served on the faculty at the university for 23 years, teaching courses such as costume design, stage management, and scene painting. She has designed the scenery for 44 theatrical productions at the university, lighting for 23, and costumes for one. She has also served on various academic and student life committees at the university. Earlier in her career, she served as an assistant professor of theater at Knox College in Illinois.

Professor Hodge holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Northern Kentucky University and a master of fine arts degree from Indiana University.

Dorothy Leland, chancellor of the University of California, Merced, has announced she will retire on August 15, 2019. Since her appointment in 2011, the university grew by more than 4,000 students, four new majors were added, and 134 new faculty members were hired. She also led a $1.3 billion initiative that doubled the size of the Merced campus and added new classrooms, laboratories, housing, and athletic facilities. Earlier in her career, she served seven years as president of Georgia College & State University.

Dr. Leland holds three degrees from Purdue University: a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in American studies, and a Ph.D. in philosophy.

Melissa R. Hyatt, vice president for security at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has announced she will step down from her role in higher education and become the next police chief of Baltimore County. She first joined Johns Hopkins in April 2018. Before that, she spent more than 20 years at the Baltimore Police Department, where she most recently served as colonel of homeland security and training.

Hyatt is a graduate of the University of Delaware where she majored in criminal justice. She holds a master’s degree in management from Johns Hopkins University.

Marie Lynn Miranda, the Howard R. Hughes provost at Rice University, has announced she will step down from her leadership role at the end of June 2019. During her four-year tenure as provost, Rice has hired 114 new tenured or tenured track faculty and promoted or tenured 86 others. The number of graduates students receiving major national awards grew by 64 percent between 2014 and 2018. Additionally, research funding for the university has grown substantially over the same time period. Earlier in her career, Dr. Miranda served on the Duke University faculty for 21 years and as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan for four years. She plans to take a sabbatical for the 2019-2020 school year, then return to her faculty position in Rice’s department of statistics.

Dr. Miranda is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University where she double-majored in mathematics and economics. She holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. both in economics from Harvard University.

Diane Cole Ahl, the Arthur J. ’55 and Barbara S. Rothkopf Professor of Art History at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, has been conferred the title of professor emerita. She has served on the Lafayette faculty for 42 years. She was named an instructor in 1977 and was promoted to assistant professor in 1978, associate professor in 1983, and full professor in 1996. She was named the Charles A. Dana Professor in 1998 and the inaugural Rothkopf Professor in 2001. She is the author of Benozzo Gozzoli (Yale University Press, 1996).

Dr. Ahl is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Virginia.

Filed Under: Retirements


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