UW News

July 3, 2019

Joy Williamson-Lott named dean of UW Graduate School

UW News

Joy Williamson-Lott has been named the next dean of the University of Washington’s Graduate School, Provost Mark A. Richards announced today. Her appointment, set to begin July 16, is subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.

As a professor and associate dean in the College of Education, an accomplished scholar and researcher in the field of American higher education and a committed advocate for equity and diversity in higher education, Williamson-Lott is well suited to the dean’s role.


Joy Williamson-LottUniversity of Washington

“President Cauce and I both thank Joy for lending her talent, passion and deep expertise to the critical endeavor of strengthening the excellence and competitiveness of the UW’s graduate programs, particularly through a focus on the recruitment and success of a more diverse graduate student body,” Richards said. “I am excited to work with her to advance this essential component of our world-class research university, and I thank all our faculty colleagues for their support and enthusiasm for Joy’s appointment.”

While serving as Dean, Williamson-Lott will retain her faculty appointment in the College of Education, where she researches the reciprocal relationship between social movements and American higher education.

She is the author of several books examining black higher educational history and the black freedom struggle, including her most recent book, “Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order.” Her teaching focuses on education as a moral endeavor, the shifting definition of “proper education” and “liberation” for different social groups, and the educational histories of people of color.

“I am excited to work with colleagues across our three campuses to ensure that our graduate students, professional students and postdoctoral fellows get the most out of their Husky Experience, and that they are well prepared to act as global citizens and leaders who enrich society and use rigorous research to devise solutions to today’s pressing problems,” Williamson-Lott said.

She was awarded the UW’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2010 and received the Mildred Garcia Award for Early Career Exemplary Scholarship from the Association for the Study of Higher Education, among numerous awards and recognitions.

Williamson-Lott earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and speech communications, and her master’s degree and doctorate in the history of American Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the UW faculty in 2007, she served on the faculty at the Stanford University School of Education.