Valerie Kinloch Named President of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte

Alumna Valerie Kinloch has been chosen to serve as the fifteenth president of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. She will take office on August 1.

Historically Black Johnson C. Smith University enrolls just over 1,100 undergraduate students and a few dozen graduate students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. Officially, African Americans make up 72 percent of the student body but another 24 percent are listed as “race/ethnicity unknown.”

“It’s a dream come true to be invited to lead one of the finest historically Black colleges and universities in America – and at the same time come home,” Dr. Kinloch said. “My years at JCSU were some of the best of my life. This university set me on course to grow beyond anything I could imagine, so it is incredibly gratifying to return and give back to the institution that helped make me who I am.”

In 2017, Dr. Kinloch was named the Renée and Richard Goldman Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Previously, she held positions as associate dean and professor at Ohio State University and was a faculty member at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City and at the University of Houston-Downtown. She is the author of Harlem on Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth (Teachers College Press, 2009).

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Dr. Kinloch holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Johnson C. Smith University. She earned a master’s degree in English and African American literature and a Ph.D. in English and composition studies with a cognate in urban studies from Wayne State University in Detroit.

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