National Institute on Aging

A Trio of African Americans Who Have Been Appointed to University Dean Positions

Gene Andrew Jarrett was appointed dean of the faculty at Princeton University in New Jersey, effective August 1. He will also serve as the William S. Tod Professor of English at the university. Dr. Jarrett has been serving as the Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science and professor of English at New York University. Earlier, Dr. Jarrett was a professor of English and faculty administrator at Boston University from 2007 to 2017.

Professor  Jarrett is a graduate of Princeton University. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Debra J. Barksdale will be the next dean of the School of Nursing and a professor in family and community nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She begins her new job on July 19. Currently, Dr. Barksdale is a professor of nursing and the associate dean of academic affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Earlier in her career, Dr. Barksdale was the first African American faculty member to achieve the rank of full professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Barksdale is a graduate of the University of Virginia. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Howard University and a Ph.D. in nursing research from the University of Michigan.

Keith A. Alford will become dean of the University at Buffalo’s School of Social Work. He has been serving as chief diversity and inclusion officer and a professor of social work at Syracuse University. Dr. Alford has served on the faculty at Syracuse University for 25 years.

Professor Alford earned a bachelor’s degree in history and sociology from Coker University in Hartsville, South Carolina. He holds a master of social work degree and a Ph.D. in social work from Ohio State University.


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