NORMAN, Oklahoma — T. Elon Dancy II, an education sociologist who has served on the University of Oklahoma faculty since 2008, has been named to the inaugural position as associate dean for community engagement and academic inclusion at the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.
Dancy, who began his appointment on July 1, currently serves as a fellow in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and professor in the educational leadership and policy studies department of the college. He holds affiliate faculty appointments in African and African American Studies, as well as Women’s and Gender Studies and its Center for Social Justice, all in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dancy previously held faculty appointments at Temple University, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
“I am honored to lead strategic initiatives critical for advancing democratic, pluralistic, and inclusive learning environments in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education,” Dancy said. “By embracing the essentiality of equity to the college’s mission, we position ourselves to learn from the profound lessons of the past, to comprehend more deeply the challenges of the present, and to shape a brighter future for our students and the communities they serve. I look forward to collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and various stakeholder groups to chart a course for rich possibilities.”
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Dancy join our senior staff,” said Gregg Garn, dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education. “We look forward to the leadership he will provide to our students and faculty, as well as the OU community at large. He has shown he is committed to helping build a thriving community of diverse learners.”
Dancy studies school and college organizations as sites of social identity development. His research is driven by questions related to sociohistorical contexts, masculinity formations, and the ways in which policies (e.g., education reform, identity-based initiatives) are implicated in students’ academic and social outcomes.
With approximately 90 publications to his credit, he is author or editor of five books including The Brother Code: Manhood and Masculinity among African American Males in College and Managing Diversity: (Re)visioning Equity on College Campuses. His forthcoming book, Black Colleges Across the Diaspora: Global Perspectives on Race and Stratification, examines comparative student outcomes of international historically Black colleges and universities. Dancy is past editor of the College Student Affairs Journal.
Dancy's research on males of color and collegiate outcomes has been supported by several funding agencies including the National Science Foundation. He has been honored with research and scholarship awards from the American Educational Research Association Division-J (Postsecondary Education), Association for the Study of Higher Education Council on Ethnic Participation, Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and American Enterprise Institute. In 2014, Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine named him Top Emerging Scholar for his study of underserved college students and campus inclusion. In that same year, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Louisiana State University College of Human Sciences and Education.
Dancy currently serves on the executive boards of the American Education Research Association’s Research Focus on Black Education and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education. Prior to joining the OU faculty, he held administrative posts in both university advancement and health care settings.
Dancy earned his bachelor of science degree in psychology, with honors, from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a master of health administration degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He received a doctorate with distinction in higher education administration and a cognate in sociology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.