ATLANTA—Morehouse College has hired a new provost to expand its academic curriculum, lead faculty, and foster scholarly research in science, education, the humanities, and the Black experience in a nation searching to understand the impact of systemic racism.
Dr. Kendrick T. Brown will assume his new role as Provost of Morehouse College in January 2021. A veteran educator and senior administrator, Brown has spent more than 20 years of his career serving students and faculty with distinction at private liberal arts colleges on the West Coast and the Midwest. He has vast experience in developing effective strategic plans, managing $50-million budgets, launching new academic majors, and empowering faculty to become national instructional leaders by providing them with the resources necessary to innovate and inspire students to excel.
“We are honored to have Provost Brown join us at Morehouse College as we work to expand our world-class academic programs and signature experiences, both online and on campus,” said David A. Thomas, President of Morehouse College. “Under Provost Brown’s leadership, Morehouse will develop our esteemed faculty and recruit new talent, as we work to build a 21st-century campus with academic programs that continue to attract some of the nation’s best and brightest students.”
Brown comes to Morehouse after serving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California, a mid-sized institution with more than 260 faculty members and 5,000 students. The former psychology professor earned his doctorate and master’s degree in psychology at the University of Michigan, and his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Mount Union College in Ohio.
In his five years at Redlands, Brown led a multi-phased strategic planning process for the college that reimagined the institution’s mission and vision and expanded academic programs. He also implemented strategies to improve recruiting and talent development, which resulted in a more diverse workforce.
Prior to his tenure at Redlands, Brown served as a senior administrator at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he worked as acting provost and chief academic officer, as well as associate dean of the faculty.
Morehouse will be Brown’s first experience working at an HBCU (Historically Black College and University). The Morehouse mission of developing men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service attracted him to the College, he said. Brown also prioritizes community service and has volunteered as a student mentor.
Founded in 1867, Morehouse is the nation’s only HBCU focused on educating men. The liberal arts college has a nationally-acclaimed business program and is the top feeder school for Black men entering Harvard Business School. Morehouse is also the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs, with five Morehouse Men receiving the honor. The College educates 2,200 students.
As the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which have created disparities in income, employment, health, housing, and educational opportunities for people of African descent.
“Morehouse is one of the most prestigious liberal arts institutions in the country,” Brown said. “The College offers a high-caliber, high-quality education, and has produced some very strong graduates, some of whom I have interacted with throughout my career in higher education and in my travels.
“I have spent a good part of my career researching and understanding the experiences of Black, indigenous, people of color,” Brown added. “For me to be able to continue that at Morehouse, and lead the academic program and faculty is deeply satisfying to me.”
Brown was selected as the top candidate in a national search for a provost. The search committee included faculty representatives.
Brown said that he was impressed with the faculty he met during the interview process and is looking forward to joining the team at Morehouse. As provost, he will make decisions that are student-centered and supportive of faculty career goals, he said. Among his priorities are the expansion of virtual education, more study abroad opportunities, and developing innovative programs for students studying on campus.
“At the heart of the conversations that I have had with President Thomas is extending more opportunities for students,” Brown said. “One of the best ways to extend opportunities to students is to ensure that you have a strong faculty. When you provide the faculty with more resources, and attract internal and national talent to endowed chairs, it enhances the vision of the College and puts Morehouse even more on the radar as a research center. That visibility can open doors to new opportunities internationally for our students.”
A published scholar and a sought-after speaker on issues of race, identity, diversity, and inclusion, Brown has appeared as a panelist at the 2020 Naval Academy Leadership Conference, the 73rd and 74th annual meetings of the American Conference on Academic Deans, the 31st International Congress of Psychology in Japan, and a host of other conferences.
Brown and his wife, Dr. Hideko Sera, currently an associate dean at Redlands, have been married for nearly 15 years.