National Institute on Aging

Three Black Women Who Have Been Appointed Deans at State Universities

Doneka Scott will be the next vice chancellor and dean of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs at North Carolina State University. She has been serving as vice provost for undergraduate education and student success at the University of Oregon. She will begin her new job in February. Dr. Scott joined the staff at the University of Oregon in August 2016 and has been in her current role since February 2019.

Dr. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, a master’s degree in higher education, and a pharmacy doctorate, all from the University of Michigan.

Rhea Ballard-Thrower will become the new University Librarian and dean of libraries at the University of Illinois Chicago. She will begin her new job on February 1, 2021. Dr. Ballard-Thrower is currently the executive director of the Howard University Library System in Washington, D.C. She is also a tenured professor at the law school at Howard University where she teaches advanced legal research.

Professor Ballard-Thrower holds a master of library and information science degree from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from the University of Kentucky.

Camellia Okpodu was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Her appointment will begin on June 30, 2021. Dr. Okpodu currently serves as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. Earlier, she spent 15 years on the faculty at Norfolk State University in Virginia, where she chaired the biology department.

Dr. Okpodu earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in plant physiology/ biochemistry, both from North Carolina State University.


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