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Associate Professor of Higher Education and History, University of California, Los Angeles

Eddie R. Cole, Ph.D., is associate professor of Higher Education and History at UCLA, and the author of The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2020).

Dr. Cole’s research focuses on college presidents’ historic role in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere. As a scholar of higher education history, his approach in covering historical material and making connections to the current, critical context has garnered respect and praise from academics as well as intellectuals and activists beyond the academy. His finesse in using extensive, historical materials to address contemporary racial issues in higher education demonstrates the role of higher education in influencing all aspects of American life. Dr. Cole’s scholarship and public writing has also been featured in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also appeared as an expert commentator on BBC World News and C-Span BookTV.

Decorated and distinguished describes Dr. Cole’s contributions throughout his fresh yet fruitful career.

He has been repeatedly recognized in Education Week as one of the 200 most influential scholars in the field of education who has done the most to shape educational practice and policy. Dr. Cole received the 2018 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He was also named a 2017 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Award from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which recognized him as a professor poised “to play a significant role in shaping American higher education.” Also notable is his selection as a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards for scholars working in critical areas of education research.

Dr. Cole has also received research fellowships and grants from Princeton University and the University of Chicago, and has been a Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also a senior fellow for the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy.


  • 2020–present
    Associate Professor, UCLA
  • 2019–2020
    Associate Professor, William & Mary
  • 2013–2019
    Assistant Professor, William & Mary


  • 2020
    The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom, Princeton University Press