Dr. Renée T. White Named New Provost of New School

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The New School today announced the appointment of Dr. Renée T. White, Provost and Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College in M

Photo: Merrie Snead

New York, May 4, 2021 — The New School today announced the appointment of Dr. Renée T. White, Provost and Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, as the university’s next Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

An accomplished higher education administrator and scholar on race, gender, and social inequality, Dr. White will begin at The New School August 1, 2021.

With approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 146 degree programs, The New School is the only university with world-renowned, comprehensive design, social sciences, humanities, and performing arts schools. Its distinctive strength derives from its core commitments to creativity and social engagement.

In announcing the appointment, Dr. Dwight A. McBride, President of The New School, said, “Dr. White is a distinguished academic leader who brings an extraordinary depth of experience as a scholar, academic leader, and changemaker. She exemplifies the very best of the academy, combining an interdisciplinary ethos and leadership that will drive excellence across the domains of teaching, learning, and research. I am extremely pleased that Dr. White will be joining The New School’s leadership team and academic community.”

President McBride continued: “I also want to express my gratitude to the Search Advisory Committee and its co-chairs, Dr. Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean of the Parsons School of Design, and Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and University Professor, for bringing this very important recruitment to such a successful conclusion.”

As Provost, Dr. White will partner with President McBride in shaping the academic vision for The New School. She will focus on achieving greater integration of The New School’s innovative transdisciplinary research, programs, and creative practice with its commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and social justice across the university. Dr. White will have direct responsibility for academic planning, curriculum, faculty affairs, research, and academic services and resources. She will work with the deans and faculty to leverage the strengths of The New School’s six schools to advance the university as a whole. Dr. White will also oversee the areas of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success and Engagement. She succeeds Interim Provost Stephanie Browner, formerly Dean of The New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, who plans to return to teaching and her research projects.

“It is both humbling and a great honor to be invited to join President McBride in the leadership of The New School,” said Provost-designate White. “I have been deeply impressed by the faculty, students, and staff I have met. I am eager to work collaboratively to further empower the great teaching, learning, design, humanities, and research mission of this community and to continue realizing The New School’s deep commitment to equity and justice. I am confident that, together, we will foster a culture of high aspirations, strong core values, and enriched student experiences.”

Dr. White comes to The New School from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she has served as Provost and a Professor of Sociology since 2016. She previously was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Simmons University from 2011 to 2016. Before Simmons, she served as Professor of Sociology and Black Studies and as Academic Coordinator for Diversity and Global Citizenship at Fairfield University. Dr. White began her academic career at Purdue University, where she held a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the African-American Studies Research Center.

Dr. White is the editor of three books, including the acclaimed Spoils of War: Women of Color, Cultures, and Revolutions, and is the author of Putting Risk in Perspective: Black Teenage Lives in the Era of AIDS. She has served as editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children & Youth and as editorial advisor to the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services. Dr. White also was a Wye Faculty Fellow at the Aspen Institute and completed a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Black film studies. Her current research is in three areas: the impact of public discourse on social policy concerning reproductive rights, representations of blackness in popular culture, and applications of Black feminist theory to higher education leadership.

Dr. White holds an AB with honors from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, where she was awarded a Mellon Foundation Doctoral Fellowship. She is a member of the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education. She also serves on the Vision 2020 National Leadership Circle, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Chief Academic Officers Task Force, and on the Advisory Committee for the MPH program at Simmons University.

The search for the next provost of The New School began in September 2020. The Search Advisory Committee, which included representatives from the faculty, staff, student body, alumni, university leadership, and trustees, was charged with guiding the selection process, evaluating a broad and diverse pool of candidates, and sharing its recommendations with President McBride.

“After an extensive global search that produced a large and superb group of candidates, the Search Committee was extremely pleased to recommend a candidate with extraordinary scholarly and administrative credentials, and tremendous leadership skills,” said Dr. Schreiber. “We are delighted to welcome Dr. White to The New School and look forward to working with her to further fulfill The New School’s academic mission.”

“Dr. White has an incredible enthusiasm for the university and understands the distinctive legacy, strengths, and commitment to scholarship for the public good that enable The New School to provide life-changing undergraduate, graduate and professional programs,” said Dr. Hamilton. “I am pleased to welcome Dr. White to The New School community.”

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.

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The New School today announced the appointment of Dr. Renée T. White, Provost and Professor of Sociology at Wheaton College in M
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