May 19, 2009

Good Morning:

I am still recuperating from this weekend's events surrounding our historic Commencement. Our graduates, parents, friends, speakers, honored guests, volunteers and the media all conspired to make this year's graduation one of the most memorable ever.

But, as you know, Commencement, despite Ellen's hilarious wordplay regarding its etymology, actually means to begin. And, indeed, today marks a beginning as we proudly announce Sally Kenney as the new and first permanent executive director of the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute, effective January 1, 2010. Sally will also hold the Newcomb College Endowed Chair and will be a faculty member in Tulane's Department of Political Science.

Sally comes to us from the University of Minnesota, where she is an award-winning, tenured professor and director of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, one of the country's premiere institutions for the study of women and public policy.

Sally joined the Humphrey Institute faculty in 1995 after holding joint appointments in political science, women's studies and law at the University of Iowa. Her areas of expertise include gender and the judiciary, judicial selection, feminist social movements, the European Court of Justice, exclusionary employment policies and pregnancy discrimination. She has also served as a consultant to the Congressional House Education and Labor Committee on discrimination resulting from fetal protection policies.

Sally also created a six-month leadership program for the executive directors of women's organizations led by University of Minnesota faculty in 2008 called the Feminist Leadership Fellows Program. In addition, she planned and led a series of retreats for women legislators.

Sally earned her master's and PhD in politics from Princeton University, a bachelor's and master's in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University's Magdalen College, and a bachelor's in political science from the University of Iowa. She is the recipient of the Mullen/Spector/Truax Women's Leadership Award given annually by the University of Minnesota to the faculty or staff member who has made outstanding contributions to women's leadership development. She was also voted "Teacher of the Year," by the Public Affairs Student Association and recently won the University of Minnesota's Graduate Teaching Award.

I want to thank Provost Michael Bernstein and the Search Committee chaired by Adrienne Colella, professor of management in the A. B. Freeman School of Business, for recruiting such a remarkable candidate. Sally's education, research interests, expertise, achievements and passion make her the perfect fit to lead the Newcomb Memorial College Institute as it continues to enhance the education, leadership and research opportunities for undergraduate women at Tulane University.


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