The Fordham University Graduate School of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Jane Bolgatz, Ph.D., as the Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Key components of her role will include promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives; adjunct oversight; and human resources functions.
Fordham’s Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs (ACMA) recognized equity as a needed component on the GSE leadership team. The Council was clear in stating that GSE needed someone at a high level attending to this area of concern. The associate dean selected would be the point person for DEI issues as well as student governance, which historically has not been emphasized. The person would be charged with cultivating student voice within the school, developing guidelines, and assisting students with committees they are organizing around equity and racism.
Given these parameters, Bolgatz was an ideal candidate. She has been involved with ACMA since 2001 and chaired the committee several times over the years. Her career and research have focused on racism and equity in the classroom – even early on – as these were the topics of her dissertation. “Race and dismantling racism have been my lifelong interests and passion,” said Bolgatz.
“Work focusing on racism and equity in education, and cultivating a diverse faculty, has been done for decades,” stated Interim Dean Akane Zusho. “Now we have a formal leadership role to spearhead these efforts.” Bolgatz said, “I am cognizant as a white person how much work we have still have to do around these topics, because we have systems that remain inequitable and we need to change them.” She continued, “I am excited to work with Akane, the leadership team, and everyone in the GSE, including the new student committees. I’m looking forward to developing bias incident protocols. For example, so if there is a bias incident in the classroom or hallways, we know how to handle it. Extensive work has been done on sexual harassment; it’s time to develop similar protocols for racism.”
Recent articles published by Bolgatz include: “Black Parents’ Perspectives on Instruction: Racial Realism at a Predominantly White, Independent, Urban Elementary School”; and, “Helping Teachers to Become More Anti-Racist.”
On being named the Associate Dean, Bolgatz exclaimed, “GSE has amazing faculty, staff, administrators, and students. I truly enjoy knowing the people I work with. I look forward to facilitating everyone’s work.”
Bolgatz became an associate faculty member of the Fordham Graduate School of Education in 2001. She obtained her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Iowa, a M.A. from Brown University, and her B.A. from Columbia University. She will continue her role as associate professor, Division of Curriculum and Teaching.