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Dwight McBride named provost of Emory University

Graduate School dean will leave a legacy of leadership, scholarship and community
Dwight McBride

EVANSTON - Dwight McBride, dean of The Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education, will leave Northwestern University this summer to join Emory University as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, Provost Daniel Linzer announced today. The appointment is effective July 1, 2017.

McBride, the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of African American Studies, English and Performance Studies at Northwestern, has led The Graduate School since 2010 in initiatives that have resulted in unprecedented progress in the recruitment of minority students, increased financial and academic support for graduate and doctoral students and  a much greater sense of community at the school.

In a statement to colleagues earlier today, McBride said:

“Community does not happen by accident, and each of you has made a contribution in great and small ways to ensuring that our community of thought leaders and scholars is truly an engaged, active, thriving body of some of the best and brightest academics I have had the pleasure of working with in my career.”

In addition to his stewardship of The Graduate School, McBride, an award-winning author of numerous publications, is a leading scholar in race and literary studies. His scholarship covers connections between race theory, black studies and identity politics.

His most recent publication is the co-edited volume “A Melvin Dixon Critical Reader,” a collection of critical essays on literature and culture from the African-American activist and scholar. McBride currently is working on a book about Phyllis Wheatley, an 18th-century poet who was the first African-American to publish a book.

“Northwestern has benefited greatly from Dwight’s stewardship of a complex academic enterprise, his strong scholarly achievements and his untiring efforts to create a holistic student experience,” Provost Linzer said. “He will be very much missed by many.”

Leading The Graduate School

Under McBride’s leadership, The Graduate School has made unprecedented progress in diversifying Northwestern’s doctoral programs, implemented a major increase in the base stipend rate and other forms of financial and academic support for Ph.D. and M.F.A. students and expanded professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In addition, the Office for Academic Affairs was created in the school to maintain the excellence of degree programs, and training grants and other sources of external funding to support graduate and postdoctoral students were significantly increased. Also, outreach efforts were expanded to create a greater sense of community among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was established.

Other Honors

Among his numerous honors, “Why I Hate Abercrombie and Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality,” a collection of essays in which McBride offers contemporary cultural criticism, was a nominee for the Lambda Literary Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. He received the Best Special Issue Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for a special issue of Public Culture that he co-edited, "100 Years of the 'Souls of Black Folk': A Celebration of W.E.B. DuBois.”

McBride is the founder and co-editor of the James Baldwin Review and co-editor of a special issue of Callaloo: A Journal of African-American and African Arts and Letters, titled "Plum Nelly: New Essays in Black Queer Studies." Both works received special citations from the Crompton-Noll Award Committee of the Modern Language Association for their significant contributions to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies.

McBride's other works include “Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual African American Fiction,” a co-edited volume that earned the Lambda Literary Award for best fiction anthology, and “Impossible Witnesses: Truth, Abolitionism and Slave Testimony,” also a nominee for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Educational Associations

An active contributor to educational associations, McBride has served on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, Association of Graduate Schools, the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the GRE Board, the Advisory Council of the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University and the Board of Directors of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, among others.

Academic Journey

In 2010, McBride returned to Northwestern to serve as dean and associate provost of The Graduate School. He previously served as the chair of the department of African American Studies at Northwestern (2002 to 2007).

Before returning to Northwestern, McBride served on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh and was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2007 to 2010).

McBride earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his undergraduate degree in English and African-American Studies at Princeton University.