Dean Pamela Barnett’s career and research in higher education have focused on advancing learning in the liberal arts for diverse student bodies. Before joining La Salle in summer 2018, she served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Distinguished Professor of English at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC a Catholic, liberal arts college and one of the nation’s few remaining women’s colleges. Dean Barnett measurably increased first-to-second year persistence and retention, enhanced faculty life and garnered 1.4M in new resources. In her previous role as Associate Vice Provost and Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Temple University, she brought the research on learning and best practices in higher education to support the university’s academic portfolio.
Dean Barnett began her career as a professor of English and African-American Studies at the University of South Carolina where she was named an Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Her earlier writings focused on the literature of political and social liberation in the 1960s and 70s, while her more recent intellectual work aims to advance diversity and inclusion in higher education. She has also written about motivation for teaching in higher education, online teaching, evaluating teaching effectiveness and advancing organizational change. As Plenary Speaker at the 2015 Lilly International Conference on College and University Teaching-Bethesda, she gave an address titled "How Good Teaching Can Change the World.”
Dean Barnett is a graduate of Barnard College (B.A.) and Emory University (Ph.D.). In 2010, she earned a certificate in Diversity Leadership at Temple University which has deeply informed her work as a teacher and academic leader. She is a Fellow of the Best Teachers Institute, which promotes research-based teaching practices. Dean Barnett is on the Board of Playworks PA, an organization that the promotes physical, social and emotional development through play, and is also on the School Advisory Board for Nebinger Elementary, her neighborhood public school.