Adrianna Kezar
University of Southern California and co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education

ADRIANNA KEZAR, Professor for Higher Education, University of Southern California and co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education. Kezar holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in higher education administration from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She joined the faculty at USC in 2003 after serving at The University of Maryland and George Washington University as a faculty member. She also has several years administrative experience in higher education in both academic and student affairs. 

Dr. Kezar is a national expert of change and leadership in higher education and her research agenda explores the change process in higher education institutions and the role of leadership in creating change. She also regularly consults for campuses and national organizations related to her work on diversity/equity/inclusion, non-tenure track faculty, STEM reform, collaboration, governance, leadership development, and change. She is an international expert on the changing faculty and she directs the Delphi Project on the Changing faculty and Student Success –  She is regularly quoted in the media related to her research including: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Atlantic, Boston Globe, Washington Post, PBS, NPR (national and local stations), Al-Jazerra, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, among others.


Kezar is well published with 18 books/monographs, over 100 journal articles, and over a hundred book chapters and reports. Recent books include: How Colleges Change (2013) (Routledge Press), Enhancing Campus Capacity for Leadership (Stanford Press, 2011). Understanding the new majority of non-tenure track faculty (Jossey Bass, 2010), Organizing for collaboration (Jossey Bass, 2009), Rethinking the "L" Word in Higher Education: The Revolution of Research on Leadership (Jossey Bass, 2006), Higher Education for the Public Good (Jossey Bass , 2005). 


She has acquired over $13 million dollars in grant funding and has worked on grant-funded projects exceeding $26 million dollars on a variety of projects to fundamentally improve higher education.  She is currently principal Investigator for The TSLC Scholars Program: A mixed methods study of a comprehensive college transition and success program for low income students funded by the Buffett Foundation, one of the largest funded research projects ever awarded in higher education.

She is an AERA fellow and has received national awards including for her editorial leadership of the ASHE-ERIC report series from ASHE, for developing a leadership development program for women and leaders of color in higher education from the ACE, and for her commitment to service learning from the National Society for Experiential Learning.

Kezar has participated actively in national/professional service.  She is recent past Vice President for AERA Division J, a WASC commissioner, TIAA-CREF Lead Fellow, and a member of a consensus panel for the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council Panel. She has been in or is currently serving on 11 editorial boards including The Journal of Higher education, The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of College Student Development, and serving as a reviewer for 23 journals in and outside higher education.

Professional service roles also include Board member for AERA-Division J Council and Association for the Study of Higher Education’s. Kezar also serves(d) on numerous national boards including for the Gates Foundation, American Association for Higher Education, Association of American Colleges and Universities' Peer Review and Knowledge Network; National TRIO Clearinghouse; and the American Council on Education's CIRP Research Cooperative. She volunteers for several national organizations including the National Science Foundation, HERS/Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, Project Kaleidoscope, Pathways to College Network, and the Kellogg Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good.