Adrianna Kezar to receive chair in higher education

Kezar will be installed as the Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education

By Wendy Shattuck

Adrianna Kezar has been named the next Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education.

Adrianna Kezar has been named the next Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education. (Photo/Rebecca Aranda)

Adrianna Kezar, Dean’s Professor of Leadership and Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education, has been named the new Wilbur-Kieffer Professor of Higher Education at USC Rossier.

Kezar will be installed as holder of the endowed professorship—the highest academic award that a university can bestow on a faculty member—on a date still to be determined.

“USC Rossier is truly fortunate to have educators of Adrianna’s caliber among us,” said Dean Karen Symms Gallagher in announcing Kezar’s appointment.

Kezar is an international expert on change, leadership, governance, diversity/equity and faculty—especially contingent or non-tenure track faculty—in higher education. She directs the Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success. She has also received numerous honors, including being named an American Educational Research Association (AERA) and a Haynes Fellow and receiving the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Research and Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Book Awards for her book, How Colleges Change.

Kezar has published a total of 23 books/monographs, more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles, and more than 100 book chapters and reports. She is also an active grant fundraiser, having acquired approximately $14 million in grant funding, and she has worked on grant-funded projects totaling approximately $26 million. She is currently Principal Investigator for the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community research project, A Mixed Methods Study of a Comprehensive College Transition and Success Program for Low Income Students, funded by the Buffett Foundation—the largest grant USC Rossier has received in its history.

Kezar has also participated actively in national/professional service. She has served as Vice President for the AERA Division J, a Board member for ASHE and AERA, a commissioner for Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a TIAA-CREF Lead Fellow and a member of a consensus panel for the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council. Adrianna has volunteered for several national organizations as well, including the National Science Foundation, Higher Education Resource Services/Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, Project Kaleidoscope, Pathways to College Network and the Kellogg Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good.

Kezar stepped into the role of full director of the Pullias Center with the retirement of the center’s founder and former co-director William G. Tierney in December. The Pullias Center is a global leader on research, policy and practice to improve higher education.

The Leslie Wilbur and Norma Lash Wilbur-Evelyn Kieffer Professorship in Higher Education at USC Rossier was established in 1998 by the late Evelyn Thompson Kieffer, a longtime friend of USC and generous donor, and her good friend Les Wilbur.

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