Venzant Chambers named MSU Graduate School associate dean

November 2, 2022

Michigan State University Professor Terah Venzant Chambers was named the associate dean for the Graduate School in August 2022. Venzant Chambers, who will maintain her faculty role in the College of Education, was previously the college’s associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion.  

In the new role, she is the key contact for graduate student emergency fellowship funding, providing resources for individuals and families in challenging situations or who are experiencing unexpected life events. She will also be involved with the Summer Research Opportunities Program, a gateway platform providing professional development, networking opportunities and work experience for undergraduates interested in pursuing further education.  

“She brings to the Graduate School a wealth of experience working closely with graduate students and professionals,” said Pero Dagbovie, associate provost for graduate and postdoctoral studies and dean of the Graduate School. “In addition, she has shown a commitment to the university’s and Graduate School’s diversity, equity and inclusion mission.”  

In the College of Education, Venzant Chambers says, she was able to see a positive example of how an institution can be supportive through financial means, mentoring and infrastructure. Now at the Graduate School, she hopes to extend the same affordances to all Spartans, providing quality, needed resources.  

Venzant Chambers calls the Graduate School role a dream job, expanding on her impressive career at the College of Education and beyond. Among her leadership roles, she has served as associate editor for or on the editorial board of several academic journals, the program director for the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) program (2017-2020) and as the president of the University Council of Educational Administration (2018-19). MSU currently serves as the host organization for UCEA.  

She has also served as a Congressional Fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, with placements in the Office of Rep. Diane E. Watson (retired) and the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. She also currently serves on the East Lansing Public School Board.  

“At my heart, what I care most about in my career is to foster student success,” said Venzant Chambers, who recently published a book on the topic. “Racial Opportunity Cost: The Toll of Academic Success on Black and Latinx Students” is available through Harvard Education Press.  

She added: “If there is something I can do to support a student, I want to do it. This new position is being intentional and proactive about those systems of support. It’s so exciting for me, definitely a career milestone.”