Eastern Michigan University names Ryan Evely Gildersleeve as new dean of the College of Education

Ryan Evely Gildersleeve
(Submitted photo)

YPSILANTI, Mich.  – Eastern Michigan University today (May 12, 2022) named Ryan Evely Gildersleeve as the dean of the College of Education (COE).

Gildersleeve joins EMU after serving as associate dean in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver since 2020. Prior to that, he was the inaugural department chair (2015-2018) and program coordinator of the University of Denver’s Higher Education Department and Programs (2012-2015), and the inaugural director of the Center for K-16 Education Policy and Research at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Gildersleeve also held appointments as a visiting senior fellow for the Spencer Foundation from 2018-2019, and visiting scholar-in-residence for equity and inclusion at Colorado Mountain College in 2018 and 2019. He currently serves as the executive editor of “About Campus: Enriching the Student Learning Experience,” the premier practitioner-focused journal from ACPA-College Student Educators International.

Eastern Michigan University Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Rhonda Longworth announced the appointment following a national search that brought three finalists to campus for interviews and public forums.

“We are pleased that Dr. Gildersleeve will join Eastern Michigan University,” said Provost Longworth. “Our University will greatly benefit from his proven leadership skills, energy and his commitment to teaching, strong community relationships and accessible higher education.

“His interaction with our faculty and broader campus community throughout the interview and open forum process has been exciting. He will have a great impact on our programs and students.”

Gildersleeve said, “I am honored and excited to build upon the University’s legacy as an institution of opportunity and as Michigan’s first ‘normal school’ (teacher preparation college). The EMU College of Education’s reputation for innovative and empowering academic programs, anchored by its dedicated staff, talented faculty, and passionate students inspires me to continue building its capacity for impact and opportunity. I look forward to expanding partnerships between the College and its communities with humility and a commitment to ensuring equity through education together.”

Gildersleeve earned his bachelor’s degree in Theater from Occidental College, a master’s degree in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Education from UCLA.

His research interests include PreK-20 educational opportunity, particularly with historically marginalized communities; and the philosophical foundations of higher education. He has recently published a book (May 2022): Transformation of the University: Hopeful Futures for Higher Education with Co-Editor Søren Bengtsen from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Longworth acknowledged the outstanding work of the search committee, chaired by Dana Heller, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The committee included representatives from COE faculty, staff and EMU Foundation personnel: Patrice Bounds, Wendy Burke, Audrey Farrugia, Beth Johnson, Jackie LaRose, Kelly Quilter, Rema Reynolds, and Molly Thornbladh. Longworth also expressed her appreciation for the strong leadership of COE Interim Dean Douglas Baker and his efforts on behalf of the college throughout the search process.

Gildersleeve’s appointment is effective July 16, subject to approval by the EMU Board of Regents. His annual salary will be $247,000.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 12, 2022

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher