Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo named dean of SF State’s College of Liberal and Creative Arts

Author: Strategic Marketing and Communications
May 5, 2023
Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo studio headshot
Photo Credit: Lou Outlaw Photography

‘Teacher-servant-leader-scholar’ most recently served as vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion at Sarah Lawrence College 

Following a national search, Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo has been appointed dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts at San Francisco State University effective Aug. 15. She is vice president for diversity equity and inclusion at Sarah Lawrence College. Prior, she served as an associate professor of English at Vanderbilt University, where she was also an affiliate in the Latinx Studies Program, Center for Latin American Studies and Center for Medicine, Health and Society. 

At San Francisco State, Nwankwo will oversee all academic, financial and administrative functions of the College, which has one of the largest and most comprehensive academic programs devoted to the liberal and creative arts in Northern California. Comprised of disciplines in the literary, media, performing and visual arts, the College provides unique opportunities for specialized focus, collaboration, interdisciplinary learning and multidisciplinary pursuits. Nwankwo will also guide initiatives focused on excellence in the liberal arts funded by a transformational $25 million gift from alumni George and Judy Marcus. 

“Dr. Nwankwo is the consummate teacher-servant-leader-scholar with a wealth of experience in many areas of academia,” said Amy Sueyoshi, SF State’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The entire San Francisco State community is poised to benefit from her expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion as well as the liberal arts. Thank you to the search committee and the larger College community for their commitment and service in identifying the new dean.”

Nwankwo’s extensive administrative experience includes serving as director of the American studies program and associate provost for strategic initiatives and partnerships at Vanderbilt, as well as co-director of the Atlantic Studies Initiative at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her in-depth research focuses on U.S. African American, Caribbean and Afro-Latin American literature, music and popular culture. Her publications include the monograph “Black Cosmopolitanism” and the co-edited volume “Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World.” She is founding director of Voices from Our America, an international research, curriculum development and community engagement project.  

“I have long admired SF State’s unwavering commitment to social justice that is central to the work of the University,” Nwankwo said. “I am excited to join the College of Liberal & Creative Arts, where our world-class faculty are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of thinkers, makers and doers, as well as to providing an excellent education for students of all backgrounds.”  

Nwankwo earned her B.A. in English and Spanish from Rutgers University and her Ph.D. in English with certificates in Latin American Studies and African and African American Studies from Duke University. 

She replaces Andrew Harris, who left SF State to become executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Sophie Clavier, the dean of Graduate Studies, has served as interim dean this academic year. 

Learn more about the SF State College of Liberal & Creative Arts.