Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke
Dean Education, College of Education
About Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke
Dr. Kandi Hill-Clarke, UofM alumna, returned to the University of Memphis in January 2017 to serve as Dean of the College of Education. In her role as dean, Hill-Clarke has launched new initiatives to strengthen and advance student success, faculty and staff development, and community engagement and partnerships. Under Hill-Clarke’s leadership, the College of Education has experienced enrollment growth, a significant increase in donor and philanthropic engagement, increases in faculty research and grant productivity, developed new academic programs and increased state and national rankings. U.S. News and World Report ranked the College’s Rehabilitation Counseling Graduate program #20 in the nation and the Online Graduate Education program #1 in Tennessee. Additionally, under Hill-Clarke's leadership, the College of Education has consistently met or exceeded expectations on the Tennessee Educator Preparation Report Card, successfully achieved national accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and was recently named as a Grow Your Own Center for Teacher Apprenticeships by the Tennessee Department of Education.
Dr. Hill-Clarke has worked to change the narrative around teacher preparation and the teaching profession and to strengthen school and community partnerships. Working with local school district partners and university faculty, Hill-Clarke established the River City Partnership program, a ‘grow your own’ teacher pipeline initiative developed to recruit and prepare culturally competent teachers who are classroom, family and student ready. Dr. Hill-Clarke co-developed and co-chaired the Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Collaborative, a coalition comprised of all local teacher preparation programs designed to cohesively work together to better meet the needs of Memphis’ largest school district. Additionally, under Hill-Clarke’s leadership, the college established Become a Tiger, Become a Teacher Day for high school students across the Mid-South, which is now an annual event. During Hill-Clarke’s tenure, the College of Education has launched several new initiatives focused on student success and engagement, including the COE Student Ambassadors program, Graduate Student Research Travel Fund, annual Student Appreciation Day and a collegewide Student Recruitment and Retention committee. To strengthen support for faculty and staff, Dr. Hill-Clarke, implemented monthly faculty development sessions, an annual Research Series, the Center for Research in Educational Policy Faculty Affiliate program, a part-time faculty online orientation, expanded the Faculty Research Grant program and established the Dean’s Staff Advisory Council. Additionally, under Dr. Hill-Clarke’s leadership, the College of Education has increased diversity of faculty and academic leaders.
Dr. Hill-Clarke’s commitment to education and equity extends beyond her leadership in the College of Education. Dr. Hill-Clarke co-led the University of Memphis’ committee focused on Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Tenured and Tenure-Track African American Faculty and Other Faculty of Color and was selected to serve a three-year term on the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Program Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity (PACED). Additionally, Dr. Hill-Clarke served on Porter-Leath’s Books from Birth Advisory Council, served on the Tennessee Department of Education’s Task Force on Educator Preparation, was a member of the 2018 Gubernatorial Debate Advisory Council and serves on the Faculty of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Leadership Academy.
Dr. Hill-Clarke is a 2016 graduate of AASCU’s Millennium Leadership Initiative, a 2020 graduate of Leadership Memphis and a recipient of the WKNO/cityCURRENT Spark Award for Education. Dr. Hill-Clarke has been a featured presenter at numerous local, state, regional and national conferences where she was invited to speak on higher education administration, equity-focused leadership, educator preparation redesign and building partnerships.
Prior to joining the University of Memphis, Dr. Hill-Clarke served as Dean of the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University and as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with the Tennessee Board of Regents where she was responsible for overseeing a system-wide teacher education redesign and P-16 partnerships. Dr. Hill-Clarke began her career as an elementary teacher with Germantown Schools.
Dr. Hill-Clarke holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from LeMoyne-Owen College, as well as a master's degree and an Ed.D. in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership with an emphasis in Reading, both from the University of Memphis. Dr. Hill-Clarke is married to Mr. Everald Clarke.