Elizabeth J. Whitt


School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award (2016)
Indiana University Bloomington
School of Education


Elizabeth J. Whitt is Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education and Professor in Sociology at University of California, Merced. She has also been an academic administrator focused on undergraduate education at Saint Louis University and The University of Iowa. From 1997 until 2011, she was a professor in Higher Education and Student Affairs in the College of Education at The University of Iowa, where she also served as Co-Director of the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education (CRUE). She was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Whitt received a Bachelor's degree in History and Political Science from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, a Master's in College Student Personnel Administration from Michigan State and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Sociology from Indiana University.

Her research and scholarship have focused on institutional conditions for student success, partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs, and issues and trends in student affairs practice and effectiveness. She has received awards for her scholarship, including the College Student Educators International and the Early Career Scholar Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education in 1995; the Outstanding Contribution to Knowledge Award from the American College Personnel Association in 2007; and the George D. Kuh Outstanding Contribution to Literature and/or Research Award from the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators in 2015. In addition, she has served on the governing boards of the aforementioned organizations as well as Division J, an international forum that focuses on postsecondary education, of the American Educational Research Association. She was associate editor of the New Directions for Student Services sourcebook series (Jossey-Bass) from 1996 until 2010, and was Editor-in-Chief from 2010 until 2016.