Sally Kenney, an award-winning tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, will take the helm in January as the first permanent executive director of the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute. Kenney also will hold the Newcomb College Endowed Chair and will become a faculty member in Tulane's Department of Political Science.
"We are so fortunate to have Sally Kenney at the helm in what will be an exciting next stage in the development of the Institute," said Interim Executive Director Molly Travis, who has lead the Institute since July 1, 2008. "I look forward to working closely with her to achieve a smooth transition."
Tulane Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Michael Bernstein launched the search for the Institute's top position last fall. He appointed Adrienne Colella, professor of management in the A.B. Freeman School of Business, as chair of the search committee.
"A superb scholar and teacher, a fine academic leader, and a wonderful university citizen, Sally Kenney is an ideal choice for leadership in the Newcomb Memorial College Institute," Bernstein said. "Sally brings great vision, a deep concern for the learning and welfare of students, and an excellent set of administrative skills to the campus. We are profoundly grateful to Molly Travis, who has served as interim executive director of the Institute at a crucial time, as well as to Adrienne Colella and her search team for overseeing an outstanding canvass and evaluation process."
As the first permanent executive director, Kenney will play a crucial role in establishing the trajectory of the Institute well into the next decade. She will take over at a crucial moment in the Institute's history, one rich with opportunity and inspiring challenges, Bernstein added.
Kenney says she looks forward to leading the Institute as it continues to enrich the education of undergraduate women at Tulane.
"Tulane University seized the opportunity to build on the historic strength and reputation of Newcomb College to create something truly great, innovative, and distinctive, " Kenney said. "Just as Newcomb College was the cutting edge of women's education at its creation, so, too, the Newcomb College Institute aspires to be the leader of women's education, women's equality, and women's empowerment in 21st-century higher education. I am thrilled to be a part of it."
In addition to her professorship at the University of Minnesota, Kenney is the director of the Center on Women and Public Policy at the university's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She 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 also has served as a consultant to the Congressional House Education and Labor Committee on discrimination resulting from fetal protection policies.
Kenney earned her master's and doctorate degrees 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 received 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 also was voted "Teacher of the Year" by the Public Affairs Student Association. In addition, she recently won the University of Minnesota's Graduate Teaching Award.
In an announcement to Tulane's faculty and staff, Tulane President Scott Cowen thanked everyone involved for recruiting Kenney. He said that "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."