Students from around the world seeking an American university education may often face two main challenges: needing to have a conversational and working knowledge of English and practical skills that lead to academic success. As the University expands its global…
LaVonda N. Reed Named Dean of College of Law at Georgia State University
LaVonda N. Reed, associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of law, has been named the seventh dean in the college’s history and the first African American to lead the College of Law at Georgia State University, effective July 1. Reed first joined the Syracuse University community in 2006 and has served in her current role since 2015. In her 15 years at the University, Reed’s teaching and research has focused on wills and trusts, property law, and communications regulatory law and policy. She has taught and mentored hundreds of students and served in numerous leadership positions across campus and with the New York State Bar and the Association of American Law Schools.
Craig Boise, dean of the College of Law, reflects the feelings of faculty and staff across campus, saying, “I will miss her insights, counsel and friendship, but I am very proud to now call her a fellow dean and look forward to working with her among Law deans nationally.”
Chancellor Kent Syverud says, “When other universities recognize the leadership talent developed at Syracuse University, as in the case of Associate Provost Reed, there is a sense of pride. As a former law dean, I can say confidently that Georgia State is making a great investment in her leadership.”
When asked to reflect on her time at Syracuse University and in particular, the individuals who have impacted her, Reed says, “There are almost too many to name. I can safely say that I have learned something from every person with whom I have worked over the past 15 years.” She adds, “A few people have taught me particularly valuable lessons and have been particularly impactful on my career. For example, Chancellor Syverud reminds me not to underestimate myself. Barry Wells taught me the value of institutional knowledge. Dr. Janis Mayes and Alexandra Epsilanty showed me the value of balancing personal and professional responsibilities with integrity and authenticity. Dr. Marcelle Haddix reminds me that the roles of mentor and mentee often switch back and forth. Professor Robin Paul Malloy and Dean Emeritus Mel Stith continue to demonstrate the value of mentoring, building and maintaining networks, and paying it forward to the next generation of scholars. There are many, many others I have not mentioned, and I want them to know how much I have appreciated all of my colleagues, mentors, and dear friends at Syracuse.”
Reed’s impact on the University will be felt for years to come, particularly as a result of her leadership roles in important searches, including for the inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer and the inaugural University ombuds.
“Professor Reed cares deeply about creating an environment where all are welcome and all can succeed, recognizes issues and barriers and works hard to remove them. I have no doubt that she will continue this work at Georgia State University. Her accomplishments at Syracuse University have been numerous and she will be greatly missed,” says Keith Alford, chief diversity and inclusion officer.
As associate provost, Reed conducted a comprehensive review of faculty salaries, resulting in gender equity adjustments for many women faculty. She advanced many diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility initiatives including enhancements to faculty search and hiring processes, policies relating to faculty life and faculty professional development. Reed also served on the University Senate as both a faculty member and as associate provost, including service on the Agenda Committee and in partnership with the University Senate Committees on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Promotion; Appointment and Promotions; Academic Affairs; Honorary Degrees and Women’s Concerns.
“LaVonda Reed has been a very effective member of the Provost’s leadership team, and I have valued her expertise, insight and counsel,” says Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu. “She has designed and implemented programs that will continue to benefit faculty professional development and the recruitment and retention of diverse, highly qualified faculty for years to come.”
Marcelle Haddix, dean’s professor and chair of reading and language arts and chair of the University Senate Agenda Committee agrees, “I am so excited for Associate Provost Reed, yet so sad to see her go. She has been a friend and mentor to me as a Black woman faculty member since my arrival at SU. I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had to work closely with and learn from her. Most recently with our time together working with Senate, LaVonda led and supported several initiatives that created equitable and transformative changes for faculty affairs. Her work at SU is far reaching and will have lasting impact.”
Reed was instrumental in creating the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and institutionalizing the work of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) and the NSF-Advance team. She has also led the creation of the Diversity Opportunity Hire Program and Future Professors Program.
Associate Provost Reed concludes, “I am grateful for the opportunities I have had at Syracuse University, which have prepared me for this exciting opportunity to re-engage with my academic discipline and legal education and to lead a law school at an R-1 university in the vibrant and historically rich city of Atlanta.”