Menah Pratt-Clarke, associate chancellor for strategic affairs and the associate provost for diversity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named vice provost for inclusion and diversity and vice president for strategic affairs at Virginia Tech.

Pratt-Clarke will start her new position on Feb. 1, 2016. She will also hold a faculty appointment as a professor in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

“I’m delighted to welcome Dr. Pratt-Clarke to the Virginia Tech community and to our leadership team,” said Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands. “Her transdisciplinary scholarship, dynamic philosophy, and relevant experiences will support our aspirations for an InclusiveVT that is transformational and far-reaching. Her philosophy includes strong support for our core values and brings a deep understanding of the work that is required to achieve meaningful change in a large and complex organization. With her expertise, and the engagement of our entire university community, Virginia Tech can aspire to become a national leader in inclusion and diversity.”

“I am so pleased that Dr. Pratt-Clarke will join us and lead our strategic efforts in the area of inclusion and diversity,” added Executive Vice President and Provost Thanassis Rikakis. “She brings tremendous experience and a skill set that I know will advance our InclusiveVT efforts in dynamic and meaningful ways. This position will allow us to leverage organizational resources broadly in the interest of addressing the priorities identified throughout our campus community to advance our inclusion efforts. I am confident Dr. Pratt-Clarke’s leadership will help us differentiate ourselves by making inclusion and diversity an area of excellence for Virginia Tech.”

Pratt-Clarke will bring more than 20 years of administrative, academic, and legal experience to Virginia Tech. She has served as senior advisor to the chancellor and provost on issues of diversity, governance, and strategic affairs at the University of Illinois since 2006.

“I am thrilled to join Virginia Tech,” said Pratt-Clarke. “Its motto, 'Ut Prosim' (That I May Serve), reflects the unique and distinctive quality of this special institution. I am looking forward to serving the institution and helping to build upon the strong foundation and commitment of InclusiveVT. The opportunity to engage in work that connects the motto of service with a mission of inclusion and diversity is truly exciting.”

In addition to her role as associate chancellor for strategic affairs and the associate provost for diversity at Illinois, Pratt-Clarke is an associate professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, and is affiliated with the university’s Institute for Government and Public Affairs, the Department of African-American Studies, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the College of Law. 

Her teaching and research interests include critical race studies, black feminism, and critical race feminism, with a particular focus on issues of transdisciplinary analysis of diversity issues in higher education.

In addition to publishing several articles and book chapters, Pratt-Clarke’s book, Critical Race, Feminism, and Education: A Social Justice Model, was published in 2010. Additional literary projects include a book on the journey of women of color presidents in the academy, the role of chief diversity officers in higher education, and the journey of sharecroppers to the academy.

Pratt-Clarke has been active in several community engagement initiatives, involving education, workforce development, social services, and the arts. She currently serves on the boards of the Cunningham Children’s Home, Leadership Illinois, the Pratt Music Foundation, the Champaign-Urbana Cradle to Career Initiative, the Champaign County Community Coalition, and the East St. Louis Community Alignment Initiative.

She is a member of the National Gender and Women’s Studies Association, American Sociological Association, Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, American Association for Affirmative Action, and the National Council of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Pratt-Clarke received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and a master’s degree, law degree, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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