Arts / Faith and Humanities / Campus Community

Cynthia B. Dillard, PhD, University of Georgia Scholar, Appointed Dean of the College of Education

March 9, 2021

Cynthia Dillard

Following an extensive national search, Cynthia B. Dillard, PhD, has been appointed Dean of Seattle University’s College of Education. Dr. Dillard currently serves as the Mary Frances Early Professor in Teacher Education at the University of Georgia.

Dillard brings to Seattle U and the College of Education a wealth of experience as a proven leader. She has served in several key academic posts in higher education including, among others, as Chair of the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia and Associate Dean for Equity and Diversity at The Ohio State University.

Dillard’s current responsibilities require that she remain in her role with the University of Georgia through January 2022. She will officially begin her new role as Dean on Feb. 1, 2022.

“I am thrilled to be selected as the next Dean of the College of Education at Seattle University. It will be my privilege to work in community with the exceptional students, staff and faculty at SU,” says Dillard. “Guided by the strong Jesuit commitments of social justice and service that are foundational to this university, I look forward to working diligently to address our most pressing challenges in education—in Seattle, across the nation and the world.”

A distinguished scholar, Dillard’s scholarship has included research on intersections of race, culture, gender and spirituality, particularly in the context of teaching and education. She has authored or edited four books, with the most current, The spirit of our work: Black women teachers (re)member, to be published by Beacon Press later this year. In addition, Dillard has written a multitude of articles, book chapters and other scholarly pieces, while frequently presenting as a keynote speaker or panelist at national conferences. She has received more than a dozen awards and recognitions, including the 2019 Taylor & Francis Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Educational Studies Association (AESA).

A belief in the transformative power of education, so clearly evident in Dillard’s work as an accomplished teacher-scholar, is matched by her commitment to serving others and making an impact in communities near and far. As president and founder of Give. Build. Share., Dillard has led an effort to build schools in rural areas of Ghana, giving students educational opportunities that previously were not available.

“I am delighted that Dr. Cynthia Dillard will be our next dean of the College of Education. An internationally renowned educator and scholar with a proven track record of leadership, she is highly qualified to serve in this position,” says Provost Shane P. Martin. “Her charismatic and engaging style will propel our education program to new heights and strengthen our relationships with our partners.”

In joining Seattle U, Dillard returns to a part of the world with which she is quite familiar, having earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Washington State University.