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Kimberly Griffin Appointed Dean of the College of Education at the University of Maryland

By Joanie Harmon
Kimberly Griffin ('08, Higher Education and Organizational Change) is now the dean of the College of Education at the University of Maryland. Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland

HEOC alumna and professor of counseling, higher education, and special education previously served as UMD COE associate dean of graduate studies and faculty affairs.

Kimberly Griffin (’08, Ph.D., Higher Education and Organizational Change) was appointed dean of the College of Education at the University of Maryland, effective July 1 of this year. A scholar and researcher focused on efforts to promote diversity and equity in higher education.

“My time as a graduate student at UCLA was transformative, and so much of who I am and how I lead was formed in Moore Hall,” says Dean Griffin. “I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to learn and collaborate with the faculty in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program; their scholarship on diversity and equity in postsecondary education forms the blueprint for our field, and is at the foundation of both my research and my practice.  I was gifted with the most outstanding classmates who remain my friends and thought partners.  The ways that we supported each other taught me so much about the value of peer mentorship, and I am inspired by the impact they're having on our field.”

Griffin's experience includes working in higher education administration, primarily focusing in the areas of diversity recruitment, admissions, and retention in undergraduate and graduate education. Her research interests are primarily focused on equity in graduate education and the professoriate; diversity within the Black higher education community; and mentoring and career development. She has conducted extensive research on a variety of topics, including mentoring and career development of Ph.D. completers in science, Black professors and their engagement in student interaction, the experiences of Black immigrant college students, diversity recruitment in graduate education, and campus racial climate. 

Dean Griffin's work contributes greatly to national conversations on equity and inclusion, and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She has collaborated and consulted with the NIH, the NSF, the Association of American Universities, National Academies, American Council on Education, and the Council of Graduate Schools to discuss extant research and new initiatives. Griffin serves as the editor of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.  

Griffin’s most recent projects as co-principal investigator include “NSF INCLUDES Alliance: An Alliance to Develop an Inclusive and Diverse National Faculty for Broadening Success of Underrepresented 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Students,”  another NSF-funded project titled, “Trajectories into Early Career Research,” and “APLU INCLUDES: A Collective Impact Approach to Broadening Participation in the STEM Professoriate,” supported by the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities.     

Griffin joined the University of Maryland in 2012 as an associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education. She was appointed the associate dean of graduate studies and faculty affairs for the UMD College of Education in 2020. Her other previous leadership roles in the College of Education have included faculty director for the Leadership Studies Program, and concentration director for the student affairs specialization. Prior to arriving at UMD, Dean Griffin held positions at The Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford University. 

Griffin holds a M.A. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University.