Dean Valerie Kinloch Named a Trustee of Johnson C. Smith University

Valerie Kinloch, the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, has been appointed to the board of trustees of her undergraduate alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The initial two-year appointment begins on July 1, 2021 and can be extended for successive three-year terms.

Kinloch is a graduate of JCSU, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with honors.

“I am extremely honored and excited to have been appointed to the Board of Trustees of my undergraduate alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University,” says Kinloch. “I owe so much of my professional achievements and personal growth to the impactful education and critical mentoring I received at JCSU. Undoubtedly, I will always treasure my time there. As a trustee, I look forward to supporting the future of our university, particularly as we continue to center on student learning, educational equity, innovation, and collaboration.”

Founded in 1867, JCSU is a private Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that was originally founded to educate freed Black slaves. Today, JCSU has an enrollment of more than 1,300 students and offers 23 degree-seeking programs.

Shirley J. Hughes, chair of the JCSU Board of Trustees, said in a statement that Kinloch and the other new trustees appointed with her will be valuable additions to the board.

“We are proud of their professional accomplishments as alumni of JCSU,” said Hughes. “I am confident that their professional knowledge and demonstrated loyalty to their alma mater will strengthen the board’s governance of the University and broaden our access to resources that will enhance academics and student life,” she said.

Kinloch has served as dean of Pitt Education since July 2017. She is a highly respected educator and scholar whose work focuses on the literacies, languages, and community engagements of youth and adults, both inside and outside of schools.

In addition to her appointment as a trustee, Kinloch is also active in a number of professional organizations.

She is president-elect of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). In this role, she is organizing the NCTE 2021 annual convention, which will be held November 18-21 in Louisville, Kentucky, with the theme of Equity, Justice, and Antiracist Teaching.

Additionally, Kinloch is co-chair of Remake Learning. Established in 2007, this Pittsburgh-based organization is an open group of people and organizations who are committed to spreading equitable learning practices across the greater Pittsburgh region.

In March 2021, Kinloch was selected for an American Council on Education (ACE) fellowship. Through this prestigious leadership development program, she will participate in both a cohort-based mentorship model and personalized professional development experiences that include retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses, and a placement experience.  Kinloch’s primary mentor will be the president of West Virginia University, E. Gordon Gee. She will also partner with Gee’s senior advisor, Mark McCoy, as well as with the president of Cleveland State University, Harlan Sands.

“At Pitt Education, we are committed to equity, justice, and innovation across every aspect of our school,” says Kinloch. “We are proud to cultivate a community of educators who place the well-being of students, families, and communities first.”

Her appointment as a JCSU trustee, paired with her professional engagements and her leadership of Pitt Education, will further strengthen her approach to deepening interconnections among people, universities, communities, and education for the public good.

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