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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

Richard J. Reddick

Assistant Professor Ed.D., Higher Education (2007), Harvard University

Assistant Professor of Educational Administration

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Biography

Richard J. Reddick is an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin, and is also the coordinator of the M.Ed. program in College and University Student Personnel Administration, where he was recently honored with a Spring 2009 Eyes of Texas Excellence Award. Dr. Reddick’s teaching and research focuses on diversity in higher education and qualitative research methods. Dr. Reddick’s research on mentoring relationships between faculty and African- American undergraduate students includes factors influencing faculty mentorship, the role of formative experiences in professors’ lives in their approach to mentoring, and the advising and counseling approaches utilized by faculty in mentoring African-American undergraduate students. Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Reddick worked in student affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and Emory University.  

Previously, he taught elementary and middle school in inner city Houston, in addition to training Teach for America corps members as a school director. Dr. Reddick has co-authored and co-edited three books on the African-American family, historically Black colleges and universities, and the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling on diversity in American education. He has earned degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (BA, Plan II, 1995) and Harvard University (Ed.D., Higher Education, 2007, and Ed.M., Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, 1998). A proud Austinite, Dr. Reddick attended Del Valle, Travis, and Reagan High Schools, and graduated from Johnston High School with honors in 1990. Dr. Reddick and his wife Sherry are the proud new parents of a two-year-old son, Karl.

Interests

Mentoring, African-American faculty, African-American families, historically Black colleges and universities

Black Studies Faculty Highlight

Posted January 23, 2012

Faculty Highlight: Dr. Richard Reddick, Assistant Professor of Educational Administration

The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (WCAAAS) and the African and African Diaspora Studies (AADS) Department wish to highlight the work and recent awards given to Dr. Richard Reddick. Dr. Reddick is an Assistant Professor of Educational Administration affiliated with both the Center and AADS. He is also coordinator of the M.Ed. Program in College and University Student Personnel Administration here at UT.

Dr. Reddick's teaching and research focus on diversity and mentoring in higher education, the sociocultural adaptation of Black families, Black faculty, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and qualitative research methods. He is currently teaching two graduate courses for Educational Administration - Qualitative Research Design and the History of Higher Education.  This month, he is featured on the UT homepage in a story which outlines his qualitative study co-authored by Dr. Aaron Rochlen and their graduate student research team. This study concerns the effect of parenting on non-tenured male professors with young children, and is interesting because quite often people think of parenting as a role predominantly performed by mothers, rather than one shared by fathers. By investigating the "unique stressors" of parenting on male faculty, the study broadens the field of work-family conflicts to include the stress on male, tenure-line professors. Says Dr. Reddick in a UT interview, "Information on [...] work-family conflicts has the potential to improve the emotional wellbeing of millions of men and their families, as well as benefit employers." 

In December, Dr. Reddick was selected by the Texas Exes to receive a 2012 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award, an award created in 1980 for alumni who are "40 or under, distinguished in their fields, and have demonstrated a continuing interest in The University of Texas and the Texas Exes".

Congratulations on your award from the Texas Exes. Can you describe your continuing interest in UT Austin as a graduate, as well as a scholar of higher education?

Thank you! I really can't describe what the impact of UT Austin has been on my life. I just authored a manuscript with my EDA colleague Dr. Victor Saenz about my UT Austin experience as an undergraduate student. As an undergrad, I encountered some of the most influential mentors in my life - people like Mrs. Brenda Burt, Mr. Glen Maloney, Dr. Sharon Justice, Dr. Ricardo Romo, Dr. John Ragle - not to mention my peers. I think I learned a great deal, academically and experientially, about inequity in education, which encouraged me to pursue the study of higher education. Having attended UT during a time when both affirmative action and campus diversity were under attack, I knew I wanted to explore the experiences of people of color at predominantly White institutions - and over time, that interest shifted to faculty experiences. UT Austin is a rich laboratory for my work because of its size, its history with integration, and the more recent developments advancing an institutional agenda promoting campus diversity.

 

As a black, male, tenure-line faculty member at a public university, it seems that your academic life would often coincide with your personal life. Is this "cross-over" helpful to your research and teaching, or does it make it difficult to keep things separate?

Honestly, it depends on the day. My wife and my son also work and attend school here, so, invariably, the academic and personal intermingle quite a bit. I have never been good at delineating "work" space and "home" space, and the fact that I do higher education research makes it even more intertwined, I suppose. It's fortunate that the university is such a big part of our lives, because my wife understands why I spend so much time in the office, and my son is growing up seeing a university campus as a natural extension of his world. I intend to make sure my daughter has the same experience, because I think it's a tremendous privilege that my kids are growing up knowing Black men and women in college, graduate school, with master's and Ph.D.s.

I do think this has a lot to do with the fact that I have had a lot of support in my work from my department, from WCAAAS, and from AADS. I have wonderful colleagues that give me good advice about navigating the academy, balancing family and community commitments, and staying mentally healthy. If any of these components were lacking, it could be a very different story.

How do you think your scholarship "fits in" with that of AADS and Center faculty here at UT?

It's a terrific fit. I have to mention that I concentrated in African American Studies as a student here at UT, and took many courses that shaped my thinking. I love being an affiliate of AADS and the Center because my colleagues are very welcoming - we often have very different, discipline-specific ways of seeing the world, but we are all invested in bettering the lives and educational opportunities of Black people. The real challenge is finding the time to have those conversations, and learn more about the work of my colleagues. I think it's particularly comfortable because I have colleagues in my field affiliated with the Center as well - Drs. Heilig, Vincent, Harrison, Cokley, Awad, Bentley, Skerritt, Foster, Gooden, and both Dr. Browns are in my discipline so our community is quite expansive. It's a rich intellectual community, and I particularly enjoy hearing (and presenting) research talks, to see the fascinating scholarship that my colleagues in other disciplines are engaged in.

Can you describe your Spring 2012 courses and what you hope your students will get out of them?

I'm teaching qualitative research and design, as well as the history of higher education this semester. In the former course, I hope I can assist students in identifying methods and approaches to researching aspects of the human experience, as well as provide a strong foundation in the elements of rigorous qualitative research. I also want to expose them to groundbreaking research and excellent scholarship. For the history course, I hope that students become aware of how closed higher education has been throughout history - and how poor people, people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and non-Christian people have often been excluded from participating in higher education. At the same time, people in these communities have participated and made significant achievements. 

You study the Black family as a sociological unit, and public policy that affects the livelihood of this group. What can you say about public policy as it relates to Black families in Austin, both historically and in current day?

This is a particularly poignant question, because my family (parents and sibling) lives in Austin as well. My interest in the Black family originates from courses I took as a student, like Dr. Ruth McRoy's course, and in graduate school, studying under Dr. Charles V. Willie at Harvard. I grew up knowing that Black families were strong and functional; it wasn't until I read more public policy documents, such as the Moynihan Report, that I understood that Black families were viewed through a pathological lens. The research I've conducted with Dr. Willie demonstrates that Black families contribute considerably to the fabric of American society - we see evidence of cross-gender mentoring in families (mothers-sons, fathers-daughters), egalitarian approaches to childrearing and decision-making. This is not to say that we have rose-colored glasses on. However, policymakers have too often considered Black families deficient or out of the mainstream. Housing and educational policies have particularly significant impact on Black families, and it behooves us to pay close attention to these two policy areas (among others) to ensure that stereotypes and myths don't foreclose opportunities for advancement and achievement.

Here is a selection from "The Gift that Keeps Giving: Historically Black College and University-Educated Scholars and Their Mentoring at Predominately White Institutions" (Caddo Gap Press, 2006).

 "This analysis suggests that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) contribute to American higher education in a novel way by producing graduates who teach at predominantly White institutions, imparting lessons and delivering mentoring services to African-American undergraduate students who may encounter significant challenges to their academic and social well-being due to racism and a lack of support for students of color at those institutions. This suggests that historically Black colleges and universities have an impact on African-American students who may have never set foot on one of the nation's 104 designated institutions. [...] Increased opportunities for these scholars have led to a diaspora of African-American intellectuals who have a direct connection to emerging African-American scholars.


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