Aisha Ray named senior vice president and dean

Erikson Institute is pleased to announce that Aisha Ray will become senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, effective July 1.

As a 1972 Erikson alumna who has taught here for a total of 17 years, Professor Ray has a long history with the Institute, and is deeply committed to its mission and culture. Over the years she has helped shape both as a faculty member, active researcher, and committed member of our extended community. She is uniquely prepared to guide Erikson into its next stage of growth while preserving and strengthening its core values.

She leads the all-Institute Diversity Committee and has previously served as director of the Bilingual/ESL Certificate Program and acting director of the Herr Research Center for Children and Social Policy. Her current research focuses on preparing early childhood teachers to effectively educate low-income, culturally, and linguistically diverse children. Other research interests include the role of culture in child development; families in urban communities; fatherhood and parenting roles; and early childhood services to immigrant families. For several years she has also been an adviser to the early childhood faculty initiative at Chicago City Colleges.

Previously she served as a research scientist at the University of Chicago and on the faculty of the DePaul University School of Education. She has also been a consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, the National Center for Strategic Nonprofit Planning and Community Leadership, and Child Trends. She holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan.

“I am very excited about Aisha assuming this new role and I believe that she has a great deal to share with us,” said President Samuel J. Meisels. “Her intelligence, creativity, commitment, knowledge, and experience will help us take steps forward that we’ve never attempted, while keeping our eye on what has made us so successful in the past.”