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"Education is the single most consistent and powerful instrument in the advancement of an individual and a people."


- Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole

What are the most important issues facing college and university leadership now and into the future?

I currently serve as the associate dean for academic affairs and founding director of the Center for Racial Justice at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

I previously served as Associate Vice President for Research, Chair of the Department of African American Studies, and founding director of the ASCEND Faculty Development Program at Northwestern University. I also served on the board of trustees of Spelman College for over a decade in various leadership roles, leading the search process for the college’s 10th president.

Being on the faculty of the University of Michigan allows me to contribute to a vibrant campus environment through teaching, research, leadership, and service. In addition, my ongoing volunteer work for Spelman College gives me a national and global perspective on key issues facing higher education, while affording me the opportunity to serve an institution dedicated to developing young women who go on to change the world.


Anatomy of a Search: Four Key Players in the Spelman Presidential-Search Process Reflect on What Went Right

Brewer, Rosalind, Romie Tribble, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, and Mary Schmidt Campbell. The Chronicle of Higher Education. April 6, 2016.

The Pick and the Process: Leading a Presidential Search in the Digital Age

Watkins-Hayes, Celeste.  Cover Story – Trusteeship Magazine. Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.

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