The University of Pittsburgh has announced that Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher will serve as the interim Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the School of Education, effective August 1, 2023.
Outgoing dean Valerie Kinloch is leaving the school after six years of transformative leadership to become the 15th President of her undergraduate alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Zamani-Gallaher is currently a professor and Associate Dean for Equity, Justice, and Strategic Partnerships in the School of Education. An accomplished scholar, her work focuses on equitable participation in higher education; transfer, access, and retention policies; minoritized student populations in marginalized institutional contexts; and racial equity and campus climate in postsecondary education pathways.
“I am honored to serve as the interim dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education,” said Zamani-Gallaher. “I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Valerie Kinloch for the incredible impact she made on the school and broader University during her tenure. Looking ahead, I am excited to continue advancing our school’s mission of providing transformative learning experiences rooted in equity, justice, and innovation.”
Prior to joining Pitt in July 2022, Zamani-Gallaher was a professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Education, where she spent seven years as director of the Office for Community College Research and Leadership. While there, she also worked as an associate dean of the Graduate College and associate head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership.
“I am very excited that Dr. Zamani-Gallaher has been appointed interim dean of our Pitt School of Education, and I look forward to supporting her during and after the transition,” said Kinloch. “She is an exceptional scholar and change-maker who has successfully expanded access to education through her teaching, research, and professional service. I am thrilled that we were able to work with each other at Pitt and I cannot wait to witness the impactful work she will accomplish as interim dean.”
As a researcher, Zamani-Gallaher has amassed more than $9 million in external funding on projects aimed at improving the field of higher education. The Lumina Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and National Science Foundation are among the organizations to fund her research.
In addition to her work at Pitt, Zamani-Gallaher is a leader in a variety of professional organizations. She is executive director of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, a national organization for university-based researchers and community college practitioners who further scholarship for community colleges. Furthermore, she is a member of the Community College Review Editorial Board, an advisory board member for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and a member of the Black Learner Excellence Expert Advisory Committee.
Among her numerous awards and recognitions, Zamani-Gallaher was selected as an American Educational Research Association Fellow and was named a 2023 American College Personnel Association Senior Scholar Diplomate.
Zamani-Gallaher holds a PhD in educational organization and leadership from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MS in general experimental psychology and BS in psychology from Western Illinois University.
A national search for the next permanent dean will be launched in the time ahead.