Jennifer Malat named dean of VCU College of Humanities and Sciences

Jennifer Malat.
Jennifer Malat will be the new dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. (Courtesy photo)

Jennifer Malat, Ph.D., has been named dean of the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Humanities and Sciences effective July 1. Malat currently serves as divisional dean for social sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.

“Dr. Malat is a tremendous addition to the academic leadership of VCU,” said Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at VCU. “She is keenly aware of the breadth and complexity of both the university and the College of Humanities and Sciences, having served in academic leadership positions at one of our peer institutions for the past 10 years.”

As divisional dean at UC, Malat’s responsibilities include academic affairs, faculty affairs and research support. She is highly engaged in issues of diversity and inclusion and is a recipient of UC’s Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award. Malat is co-founder and co-director of The Cincinnati Project, a research initiative that connects researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences with organizations that serve marginalized people to conduct research with a direct community benefit. Prior to joining the dean’s office, Malat served as director of UC’s Kunz Center for Social Research.

“I am delighted to join the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU,” Malat said. “The college’s mission and my perspective on the role of a public, urban research university are an excellent match. [The College of Humanities and Sciences] provides an outstanding education for many students who are the first in their families to go to college and who come from many different backgrounds. CHS also produces innovative research and creative work that addresses challenging societal problems. Providing access to an equitable university experience and using research to tackle real-world problems have been central to my career. I am eager to work with the college to advance existing efforts and develop new approaches to serving Richmond and the world.”

Malat began her career at UC in 2000 as an assistant professor of sociology; she was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and to professor in 2014. Her research focuses on how racial inequity affects the health of people in the United States. She holds a B.S. in sociology from the University of Minnesota, and an M.A. and Ph.D., both in sociology, from the University of Michigan.

Don Young, Ph.D., is serving as interim dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and