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Eddie R. Cole Named 2023-2024 Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow

By John McDonald
Eddie R. Cole
Eddie R. Cole


Eddie R. Cole, an associate professor of higher education and history in the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, has been named a Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow for 2023-24.  The Radcliffe fellowship offers scholars in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and arts—as well as writers, journalists, and other distinguished professionals—a rare chance to pursue ambitious projects for a full year in a vibrant interdisciplinary setting at Harvard. 

“Professor Cole has developed a portfolio of scholarship that illuminates the critical role university and college leaders  – for good and ill – play in the furtherance of civil rights, racial justice and opportunity in higher education,” said Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.  “His work is a noteworthy example of the excellence of our scholarship at UCLA. He is an inspiring representative of our school, and we celebrate Dr. Cole and his receipt of this prestigious new award.”

Professor Cole’s research explores the historic role college presidents in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere. At Radcliffe, Cole will prepare a new history of American higher education, focusing on the overlooked - and often dismissed - contributions of Black intellectuals, students, and administrators to the development of the modern university.  He joins a cadre of fellows who will spend the year at Harvard Radcliffe, exploring a large variety of topics across disciplines. 

“This year’s cohort promises, once again, to accomplish incredible things,” said Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “As ever, we have outstanding fellows with expertise in a wide range of fields. 

Cole is the author of the award winning book, “The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom” (Princeton University Press, 2020).

He received the 2018 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education and was also the 2017 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Award from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Professor Cole was also a recipient of the 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. Cole has also been recognized in Education Week as one of the 200 most influential scholars in the field of education, and his scholarship and public writing has been featured in The Washington PostLos Angeles Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education among other publications. 

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University—also known as Harvard Radcliffe Institute—is one of the world’s leading centers for interdisciplinary exploration. The program bring students, scholars, artists, and practitioners together to pursue curiosity-driven research, expand human understanding, and grapple with questions that demand insight from across disciplines. For more information, visit