Friday, May 3, 2024 | 11:45 AM EDT

Panelists Nancy E. Cantor, Bonnie Thornton Dill, and Kaye Wise Whitehead talk about the possibilities and challenges of leadership in the academy. President Joy Connolly will moderate. The event will be livestreamed as part of the ACLS Annual Meeting, please register below to attend virtually.

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Joy Connolly, ACLS President
Joy Connolly began her service as President of the American Council of Learned Societies on July 1, 2019. Previously, she served as provost and interim president of The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, where she was also Distinguished Professor of Classics. She has held faculty appointments at New York University, where she served as Dean for the Humanities from 2012-16, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. Committed to broadening scholars’ impact on the world, as provost at the Graduate Center Connolly secured generous support from the Mellon Foundation to foster public-facing scholarship through innovative experiments in doctoral training. She has published two books with Princeton University Press and over seventy articles, reviews, and short essays. Connolly earned a BA from Princeton University in 1991 and a PhD in classical studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.


Bonnie Thorton Dill
A pioneering scholar of intersectionality and highly regarded visionary leader in higher education, Bonnie Thornton Dill’s early research on the intersections of race and gender in work, family, and poverty for Black women led to the publication of three books, numerous articles and inspired her founding two research centers: The Center for Research on Women at Memphis State University and the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at UMD. She has held multiple leadership positions over 35 years including chair, research center director and Dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Arts and Humanities. She has served professional associations in such prestigious positions as Chair of The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Liberal Arts and Sciences Deans group (2018 to 2022), Vice President of the American Sociological Association and President of the National Women’s Studies Association. Currently she is a co-principal investigator on HuMetricsHSS, a humane metrics initiative that creates and supports values-enacted frameworks for evaluating scholarly life and enhancing scholarly practice as well as on “Breaking the M.O.L.D. (Mellon/Maryland Opportunities for Leadership Development), a professional development initiative to create a pipeline of senior leadership for faculty members of color and women in the arts and humanities. Her accomplishments as Dean for eleven years include: expanding faculty diversity, leading development and launch of the campus-wide Arts for All initiative, increasing external support for research and scholarship by 50%; raising $80 Million in gifts; and introducing an integrated career-curriculum approach to support student learning. 


Nancy E. Cantor
Nancy Cantor recently was announced as the new President of Hunter College of the City University of New York, effective August 12, 2024. Currently serving as Chancellor of Rutgers University – Newark, she is recognized nationally and internationally for emphasizing the role of universities as anchor institutions in their communities, especially by forging diverse, cross-sector collaboratives and leveraging publicly engaged scholarship to advance racial equity and equitable growth. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the National Academy of Medicine, she previously led Syracuse University and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and was provost at the University of Michigan, where she was closely involved in the defense of affirmative action in 2003 Supreme Court cases Grutter and Gratz. She co-chairs the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration Steering Committee and the Anchor Institutions Task Force Advisory Council, and co-edits the book series Our Compelling Interests from Princeton University Press with Earl Lewis. She has received the Robert Zemsky Medal for Innovation in Higher Education; American Council on Education Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award; Frank W. Hale, Jr. Diversity Leadership Award from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education; Anti-Defamation League Woman of Achievement Award; National Council for Research on Women Making a Difference for Women Award; and 2008 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award, one of higher education’s highest honors. 


Kaye Wise Whitehead
Dr. Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead is the Founding Executive Director of The Karson Institute for Race, Peace, & Social Justice at Loyola University Maryland. She is a Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies. Dr. Whitehead is also the host of Today With Dr. Kaye on WEAA. She is the former president of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) and the current National Secretary of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). She is well known as the #blackmommyactivist.  




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