Two African-American women were recently elevated to dean positions at Emory University, a premier research institution located in Atlanta.
Erika Hayes James was appointed dean of the 95-year-old Goizueta Business School at the university. James, who assumes her new post July 15, currently serves as the senior associate dean for executive education and a professor of business administration at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and is a highly regarded expert in crisis leadership.
“Erika James has all of the qualities that we want for a leader at Goizueta,” said Provost Claire Sterk, who led the international search, in a statement. “She brings a background of impressive scholarship and strong skills in academic administration, and she will work collaboratively with faculty, students, staff, alumni and supporters to take the school to the next level—all the while honoring the principled leadership of Mr. Goizueta’s legacy.” The school is named after Roberto Goizueta, former president of The Coca-Cola Co.
James earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Pomona College, a private liberal arts college in Claremont, Calif., and her master’s and doctoral degrees in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan, according to her biography on the Darden Graduate School website. She was also a visiting professor at Harvard Business School.
Among numerous paper and multi-media case studies, published in notable academic journals, James co-authored Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis (Routledge, 2010).
The educator said she is excited to join Goizueta, whose full-time MBA program is ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg Business Week for job placement, and whose undergraduate business administration program is counted among the nation’s top 10 undergraduate programs.
“I believe that the Goizueta Business School is a world-renowned school that is on the verge of greatness,” James said in a statement, “and I want to be a part of helping the school reach that greatness.”
The Rev. Bridgette Young-Ross was also recruited to be Emory’s next dean of the chapel and spiritual life, beginning July 1.
Ross beat out more than 130 applicants and nominees in the university’s first chaplaincy search open to religious leaders beyond the Christian tradition.
“Bridgette Young-Ross brings great gifts of faith, intellect, bridge-building and mentorship to the work of the Office of Spiritual Life," said Emory President James Wagner in a statement. "She will continue to strengthen the vibrant and formative interfaith dynamics that are a hallmark of Emory as a research university.
“As she engages students, faculty and staff in questions of spiritual meaning through collaborations with our various schools and divisions," says Wagner, "she will both provide leadership on ethical issues confronting the university and represent the religious dimensions of Emory to the broader world.”
Rev. Young-Ross is not a stranger to the Emory campus, having served as associate dean of the chapel from 2000 to 2009.
For the past five years, Young Ross served as assistant general secretary of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, in Nashville, Tenn., where she was responsible for supporting and equipping more than 500 collegiate ministries in the United States and for helping to develop more collegiate ministries around the world.
The Chicago native earned a bachelor's degree in management and marketing from Illinois Institute of Technology and an MBA degree from the University of North Carolina, as well as a master’s of divinity degree from Gammon Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. She gained extensive experience in management in the corporate world before entering the ministry in 1990.