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School of Social Welfare announces new associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion

Thu, 07/16/2020

LAWRENCE – The School of Social Welfare has announced the appointment of Kim Warren, associate professor in history, as the new associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion beginning July 1. Warren will be joining the school in an administrative and research capacity. 

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are top guiding principles for our school and are central to our mission,” said Michelle Mohr Carney, dean of the social welfare school. “Finding a leader who supports and honors these values was crucial, and we are confident that we have found in Kim an associate dean that will partner with our DEI coordinator and our DEI council to enhance and advance this important work. Her leadership, experience and humanities perspective will bring a needed element that will only enhance and strengthen the school’s diversity efforts. We are extremely pleased Kim has chosen to join us and excited to see her lead and further our diversity efforts.”  

In this newly created position, Warren will help expand the school’s footprint in DEI-related research by contributing her own scholarly research and by supporting current DEI-related work the school is already producing. She will work with the social work community to create networks of support, especially during times of upheaval as the world is currently experiencing. She will also partner with other leaders in the school and across KU to help students and community members make significant strides in dismantling systematic inequality.    

Her tenure home will remain in the Department of History, as will her teaching responsibilities.   

“I am honored to join a team of faculty, staff and students committed to making sustainable change in our local and global communities,” Warren said. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of everything that is positive and just in higher education. My role as associate dean is to help deepen the efforts that are already foundational to the study and work of social welfare. As a historian with a broad background in community engagement, I hope to bring a perspective to the associate dean position that is rooted in an understanding of both daily and institutionalized systems of change.”   

Warren is a longtime KU faculty member, and as a native Kansas Citian, she and her family are embedded in the Kansas and Kansas City metropolitan areas. While at KU, Warren has held joint appointments with the departments of History and the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is a specialist in U.S. women’s history, has held the positions of director of undergraduate studies and director of graduate studies in two departments, and has been a faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching Excellence.  

Prior to joining KU in 2004, Warren served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Slovak Republic, was a field coordinator of AmeriCorps Members in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, and she was the director of the Center for Service Learning at Rockhurst University. She received her bachelor's degree in American studies from Yale University and her master's degree and doctorate in history from Stanford University. 

Warren conducts research and teaching in the areas of African diasporas, Native American studies and feminist studies. She held post-doctoral fellowships and research fellowships through the Spencer Foundation/National Academy for Education, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, American Philosophical Society, National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture, U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History and U.S. Department of State Fulbright Scholars Program. She is the author of "The Quest for Citizenship: African American and Native American Education in Kansas, 1880–1935," and she is the co-editor of "Transforming the University of Kansas:  A History, 1965-2015," with John Rury, KU professor of education. 

Warren will collaborate with the school’s DEI Council through close communications and planning with Megan Paceley, assistant professor of social welfare and DEI coordinator. 

“When I heard Dean Carney refer to social workers as ‘social justice warriors,’ my heart and mind filled beyond measure,” Warren said. “I will use my role as associate dean to help KU's School of Social Welfare continue to lead the way in training new generations of social workers who anchor their thoughts and actions in justice and growth models. KU's School of Social Welfare is already on the national map as a leader in the field. And right now, the world needs universities to build more visible and more sustainable pathways to equality and inclusion through our teaching, research, and training. The world needs more social justice warriors, now more than ever.” 

The KU School of Social Welfare is a nationally ranked school that aims to transform lives and social contexts and promotes social, economic and environmental justice in Kansas, the nation and the world by educating students to practice with integrity and competence; advancing the science and knowledge base of social work through scholarship and research; and participating in community-engaged service. 



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