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Professor Pearl Dowe selected as vice provost for faculty affairs

Pearl Done

Pearl Dowe, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies

Pearl Dowe has been selected as the next vice provost for faculty affairs, Ravi V. Bellamkonda, Emory University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, announced today. Dowe, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies, will succeed Tim Holbrook, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, on Jan. 1, 2023, after working closely with him this coming semester as provost’s fellow and vice provost for faculty affairs designee. Dowe, who works at Oxford College, joined the Faculty Affairs team on Emory’s Atlanta campus on July 1, 2022.

“Dr. Dowe embodies the collaborative spirit that has long defined the Emory University faculty,” says President Gregory L. Fenves. “Her experience on both the Oxford and Atlanta campuses give her a unique understanding of the opportunities and challenges for Emory faculty, and she is ready to make an impact from day one in her new role for the university.”

According to Bellamkonda, “Dr. Dowe is an incredible scholar and a proven leader. Her holistic concern for faculty extends from academic functions — hiring, tenure and retention — to building interpersonal connections and establishing mutual support. As a university, we are defined by our faculty, and I look forward to working with her closely to develop and strengthen our community of scholars. I am delighted that she will be helping us lead this important effort that is so central to our mission.”

Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs Christa Acampora, who chaired the search advisory committee, adds, “Dr. Dowe recently completed the Academic Leadership Program at Emory, and she’s gained tremendous perspective on the diversity, breadth and depth of the research, scholarship and creative activity of our faculty through her service on the university’s Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee. She greatly impressed the search advisory committee with her energy and insight. I’m truly looking forward to working with her, especially as we continue to make progress on important initiatives arising from the COACHE survey.”

Dowe’s interest in the position developed out of her roles on the tenure-and-promotion committees for Oxford and Emory University as a whole. Dowe believes faculty support is crucial to the tenure-and-promotion process, a perspective she has developed as both a mentor and mentee. Connection is key.

“Emory has great resources,” Dowe says, “and we should help faculty navigate them in a way that they feel they are progressing and are appreciated.” Dowe envisions an expansion of the new faculty orientation process, which would not only connect new faculty members through their research interests but also to others within their cohort. “To do the work of a faculty member,” she continues, “people need to feel a sense of belonging as part of the bigger picture of generating faculty eminence: Am I welcomed? Am I supported? Do I have a network?”

Dowe has been active on the Oxford College and Emory University tenure-and-promotion committees and will continue to support the Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Oxford College junior faculty mentoring programs. She also serves as a peer mentor to colleagues across the country.

As a scholar, Dowe focuses on African American women’s political ambition and electoral politics. Holding a joint appointment between Oxford College and Emory College, she liaises with the Department of African American Studies in Atlanta, for which she teaches a class each year.

Dowe is a graduate of Savannah State University and holds an MA in political science from Georgia Southern University and a PhD in political science from Howard University. She was a faculty member and department chair at the University of Arkansas before joining Emory in 2019. In 2016 she was visiting scholar in residence at Howard University’s Ronald Walters Center for Public Policy.

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