Wingard Cunningham joins W&L from College of Wooster, where she is the Mildred Foss Thompson Professor of English and dean for faculty development.
Leslie Wingard Cunningham, Mildred Foss Thompson Professor of English and dean for faculty development at The College of Wooster in Ohio, has been named associate provost for faculty development at Washington and Lee University. She is a scholar whose interests include African American film, literature, and religion, and her faculty appointment will be in the departments of English and Africana Studies. Wingard Cunningham begins working at W&L during Winter Term 2023.
As associate provost for faculty development, Wingard Cunningham will serve as a member of the provost’s leadership team, working to cultivate a coordinated, intentional and robust effort to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion across Academic Affairs. She will bring a collaborative approach to the work of providing professional development to faculty, strengthening the focus on inclusive pedagogy, supporting the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, and collaborating on special programming and projects.
Wingard Cunningham will serve on the President’s Council, co-chair the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC), and oversee the faculty directors of the DeLaney Center, the Roger Mudd Center for Ethics, and the Office of Community Based Learning.
The appointment was announced Dec. 22 by W&L Provost Lena Hill.
“I am thrilled to be part of the W&L community and will certainly share a collaborative spirit with any and all staff, faculty, students and local community members in Lexington,” said Wingard Cunningham. “W&L professors of every discipline and rank will be my special focus and they can count on me to be a team-oriented strategist in faculty development who is committed to equity, inclusion and diversity practices.”
Wingard Cunningham received a B.A. in English from Spelman College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She spent her undergraduate junior year as a domestic exchange student at Stanford University and served as a visiting graduate research fellow in the department of English at Princeton University.
Wingard Cunningham has served as dean of faculty at Wooster since July 2022, where she leads faculty development, providing support for teaching, research and scholarship, and maintaining the intellectual climate on campus. She previously served as the college’s interim vice president of equity, inclusion and diversity for Academic Affairs, and as chair of the English department.
In addition, Wingard Cunningham served as a diversity and inclusion fellow in the Dean of the Graduate School’s Office at Princeton University, worked as a faculty success program coach at the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, and participated in the HERS Summer Leadership Institute for Women in College and University Administration at Bryn Mawr College. From 2006 to 2008, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Culture in the department of English and the program in Africana Studies at Williams College.
“We are excited to welcome Leslie to the W&L community,” said W&L Provost Lena Hill. “Leslie brings impressive academic leadership experience and a deep commitment to DEI to the associate provost role. Our community will gain from her expert skills in supporting faculty, creating an inclusive campus environment, and developing timely DEI programming. Leslie is an authentic leader who naturally brings people together, and I look forward to the ways her knowledge, collaborative spirit, and personal warmth will invigorate our DEI work across Academic Affairs.”