Teachers College has announced the appointment of KerryAnn O’Meara—an internationally recognized scholar and expert on faculty affairs and diversity, equity, and inclusion—as its next Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of the College, effective July 5, 2023.

O’Meara will join the College from the University of Maryland (UMD), where she currently serves as Professor of Higher Education and a Distinguished Scholar Teacher, and as Special Assistant to the Provost for Strategic Initiatives. In her work, she draws on insights from organizational behavior, higher education research, and behavioral economics to identify and test policies, practices, and interventions that support the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse faculty.

“KerryAnn O’Meara is an esteemed scholar and expert on the development and implementation of organizational practices that empower and support faculty diversity and inclusion, and strengthen institutions overall,” said President Thomas Bailey. “Dr. O’Meara’s leadership and expertise will be instrumental in helping the Teachers College community achieve new heights of academic excellence and social impact for the future.”

O’Meara succeeds Interim Provost Bill Baldwin, who has served in the role since July 2022, and joins the College amid the pursuit of President Bailey’s strategic priorities designed to strengthen the institution for the future, with a focus on the areas of: research; diversity, equity and inclusion; student pathways; digital innovation; and organizational design and structure.

"I am thrilled to join the Teachers College community,” said O'Meara. "I have long admired TC's deeply held commitments to social justice, groundbreaking research, outstanding graduate programs, and multidisciplinary approaches to creating a more equitable world. I am inspired by the ways in which faculty and students are extending their scholarship into the world, and I look forward to finding new ways to support, connect, and amplify this work and its impact.”

At the University of Maryland, O’Meara served as Director of the ADVANCE program, an institution-wide effort to invest in the hiring, professional growth, retention, and advancement of diverse faculty through changes in systems, policies, and cultures. Her efforts resulted in documented improvements in faculty retention and advancement, and improved workload equity in academic departments in three state systems.

O’Meara also served as Associate Dean of Faculty and Graduate Affairs at UMD College of Education, as well as Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives. She developed campus-wide DEI onboarding now experienced by more than 30,000 members of the UMD community, and now leads implementation of UMD’s strategic plan. She was a 2021-2022 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, and was elected and served as President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education in 2020. Through these roles, O’Meara has earned a reputation for equity-focused reform, a steadfast approach to problem-solving, and shared governance.

"Dr. O’Meara has been a true servant leader at the University of Maryland,” said Darryll J. Pines, President, University of Maryland. “I am extremely proud of her work here and I believe she will be a transformative leader for Teachers College.”

Other colleagues offered similar accolades:

“Dr. O'Meara is an exceptionally thoughtful and intuitive leader,” commented Dr. Jennifer Rice, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, at the University of Maryland. “She brings innovators together, cultivating relationships, working collaboratively with faculty, staff and students to achieve success for all. Her wealth of experience in higher education administration and policy is impressive, and I am confident that she will continue to foster inclusive excellence through education in her new role.”

“Dr. O'Meara has long been a leading voice in higher education,” added Kimberly Griffin, Ph.D., Professor and Dean, College of Education, University of Maryland. “She has always demonstrated a rare ability to do work that is rigorous, meaningful, and impactful on a local and national level. I am certain that her work as Provost and Dean of the College will be transformational, grounded in her equity-based scholarship and rich leadership experiences.”

In her research, O’Meara examines faculty careers and academic rewards systems with a particular focus on organizational practices that support and limit the full participation of women, minoritized faculty and engaged scholars. Her work has been widely published and has received continuous funding from the National Science Foundation since 2010.

“My best work as a scholar has emerged from multidisciplinary collaborations and from inquiry conducted at the intersections of research and practice,” says O’Meara, who is looking forward to the next chapter.

“As I learned more about President Bailey's strategic priorities, as well as where TC faculty, students and employees would like to see the College go in the future, I realized I had discovered a new home,” O’Meara said. “TC is unique in having scholarship in education, psychology, health and leadership in such close proximity and in having rich partnerships in Morningside Heights and throughout NYC and beyond. Leaning into these distinctive aspects of TC’s culture animates me as I see the potential for even greater impact.”