Eddie R. Cole

Eddie R. Cole
Moore Hall
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1521

Eddie R. Cole

Associate Professor


Eddie R. Cole, Ph.D., is associate professor of higher education and organizational change at UCLA, and the author of The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2020).

Dr. Cole’s research focuses on college presidents’ historic role in shaping racial policies and practices both inside and outside of the educational sphere. As a scholar of higher education history, his approach in covering historical material and making connections to the current, critical context has garnered respect and praise from academics as well as intellectuals and activists beyond the academy. His finesse in using extensive, historical materials to address contemporary racial issues in higher education demonstrates the role of higher education in influencing all aspects of American life. Dr. Cole’s scholarship and public writing has also been featured in The Washington PostLos Angeles Times, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He has also appeared on BBC World News and C-Span BookTV.

Decorated and distinguished describes Dr. Cole’s contributions throughout his fresh yet fruitful career.

In 2021, he was named by Education Week as one of “the top university-based scholars in the U.S. who did the most last year to shape educational practice and policy.” Dr. Cole received the 2018 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He was also named a 2017 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Award from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which recognized him as a professor poised “to play a significant role in shaping American higher education.” Also notable is his selection as a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards for scholars working in critical areas of education research.

Dr. Cole has also received research fellowships and grants from Princeton University and the University of Chicago, and has been a Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also a senior fellow for the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy.


  • Ph.D., Higher Education, Indiana University
  • M.S.Ed., Student Affairs Administration, Indiana University
  • B.S., Speech Communication, Tennessee State University

Research Interests

  • College Presidents
  • Social Movements
  • Race and Higher Education History

Awards, Honors, Fellowships

  • 2021: Education Scholar of Public Influence, Education Week
  • 2018: Early Career Award, Association for the Study of Higher Education
  • 2018: Dean’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • 2017: Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader Award, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
  • 2017: Princeton University Library Research Grant
  • 2017: Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship, University of Chicago
  • 2015: National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

Select Publications