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Eddie R. Cole Named Recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Book Award by the Association for the Study of Higher Education

By John McDonald
UCLA Associate Professor of Education Eddie R. Cole

Award honors Cole’s book, “The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom.”

Eddie R. Cole, an associate professor at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, has been named the recipient of the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s 2021 Outstanding Book Award for his book, “The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the  Struggle for Black Freedom.”

The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) is a scholarly society with 2,000 members dedicated to higher education as a field of study. The association, “values rigorous scholarly approaches to the study of higher education and practical applications of systemic inquiry.” The ASHE Outstanding Book Award recognizes a book that makes a significant contribution to the study of higher education. 

Cole’s book, “The Campus Color Line,” published by Princeton University Press, illuminates the role college presidents have played amid the battles for civil rights and Black freedom.  The book explores the history of the Black Freedom Movement through the lens of the efforts of college presidents as they dealt with desegregation, equal educational and employment opportunity, housing discrimination, and other critical issues intertwined with higher education.

In an earlier interview, Cole described the book as, “history ripe for the present. It takes a national view of the Black Freedom Movement as seen through the actions of college presidents, and the world we’re in right now.” 

Cole said he hopes the book will add to the understanding of “the role that institutions of higher education—particularly college presidents—have played in molding policies and practices with racial implications… and how they have also proactively shaped how higher education has addressed questions around race.” His book research has also been recently highlighted in The New York TimesThe Washington PostLos Angeles Times, and BBC News.

Eddie R. Cole is an associate professor of higher education and organizational change at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. In January 2021, he was named by Education Week as one of “the top university-based scholars in the U.S. who did the most last year to shape educational practice and policy.”

Professor Cole received the 2018 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He was also named a 2017 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Award from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which recognized him as a professor poised “to play a significant role in shaping American higher education.” In 2015, he was a recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards for scholars working in critical areas of education research.