Menah Pratt joined Virginia Tech on Feb. 1, 2016 as vice president for strategic affairs and vice provost for inclusion and diversity. She also holds a faculty appointment as a professor in the School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She is affiliated with Africana Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Department of Sociology.
Pratt brings more than 20 years of administrative, academic, and legal experience to Virginia Tech. Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, she served as the Associate Chancellor for Strategic Affairs and Associate Provost for Diversity, advising the chancellor and provost on issues of diversity, governance, and strategic affairs at the University of Illinois since 2006, and was also an associate professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, and was affiliated with the university’s Institute for Government and Public Affairs, the Department of African-American Studies, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for African Studies, and the College of Law. She also worked at Vanderbilt University for eight years as University Compliance Officer, Assistant Secretary of the University, and University Counsel.
Her teaching and research interests include critical race studies, black feminism, and critical race feminism, with a particular focus on issues of transdisciplinary analysis of diversity issues in higher education. In addition to publishing several articles and book chapters, Pratt’s book, Critical Race, Feminism, and Education: A Social Justice Model, was published in 2010. Additional literary projects include a book on the journey of women of color presidents in the academy, the role of chief diversity officers in higher education, and the journey of sharecroppers to the academy.
She is a member of the National Gender and Women’s Studies Association, American Sociological Association, Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, American Association for Affirmative Action, and the National Council of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Pratt received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and a master’s degree, law degree, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. She taught at Vanderbilt University, Fisk University, and American Baptist College.