Diversity Leader Honored

Provost Professor Shaun Harper recognized with two awards for his research and work around diversity

April 01, 2019

Provost Professor Shaun Harper has been honored with two awards: the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Bobby E. Leach Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

Harper is Provost Professor of Management and Organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education, and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center.

Since the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award was first bestowed in 2001, all of the recipients have been college or university presidents. Harper is the first professor to receive the award.

The Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award “honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment on a national level to the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities and other underrepresented populations in higher education,” according to ACE. It was established to honor Dr. Reginald Wilson, senior scholar emeritus at ACE. ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. It represents more than 1,700 college and university presidents and executives at related associations.

"I am grateful to ACE for recognizing me with this award. I remain surprised and deeply honored.” --Shaun Harper, Provost Professor of Management and Organization, executive director, USC Race and Equity Center

The award was presented to Harper at ACE’s 101st annual meeting in Philadelphia in March.

“Much to my surprise, I was selected as this year’s recipient of the American Council on Education's Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award,” Harper said. “I had no idea I was nominated. I am grateful to ACE for recognizing me with this award. I remain surprised and deeply honored.”

Diversity and Inclusion

The Bobby E. Leach Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award “honors a senior student affairs professional or faculty member who has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion throughout their administrative or academic tenure,” according to NASPA. It was named in honor of Dr. Bobby E. Leach, the first person of color to serve as NASPA president and the first African American administrator at Florida State University.

Harper received this award at the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference in Los Angeles in March.

Harper is a long-time NASPA member, and served as director of research on the NASPA Board of Directors. The Association previously presented him four of its most prestigious awards, including the 2010 Outstanding Contribution to Research Award. NASPA is the leading association for the advancement of the student affairs profession, with 15,000 members in 50 states, 25 countries and eight U.S. territories.

“NASPA has long been my professional home,” Harper remarked. “It means so much to me that this association repeatedly recognizes the rigor and practical usefulness of my research.”

Harper studies racial, gender and LGBT issues in corporations, law firms, Hollywood production companies, K-12 schools and universities. He also is an expert on college sports. He has published 12 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications, and procured $13 million in research grants. His research has been cited in more than 11,000 published studies and quoted in major news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, The Washington Post and Black Enterprise. Harper was recognized in Education Week as one of the 10 most influential professors in the field of education.