Truth Without Tears is a timely and insightful portrait of Black women leaders in American colleges and universities. Carolyn R. Hodges and Olga M. Welch are former deans who draw extensively on their experience as African American women to account for both the challenges and opportunities facing women of color in educational leadership positions.
Hodges and Welch deftly combine autobiography with more general information and observations to fashion an interesting and helpful book about higher education leadership. They offer their perspectives on being the first deans of color in two predominately white institutions in an effort to fill a gap that exists in the literature on deanships in higher education.
Each chapter offers reflections or examples of the authors’ particular experiences that have taught them how to become effective leaders. The book engages readers to consider ways of learning how to balance the need for action with “deliberative and deliberate approaches” that are grounded in maintaining decisiveness, accountability, and allegiance to organizational goals, especially those that support inclusiveness and diversity of perspective.
A nuanced and complex depiction of successful leadership, Truth Without Tears is a valuable resource for current and aspiring higher education leaders.
Carolyn R. Hodges is professor of German at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and has served for two years as chair of the Africana Studies Interdisciplinary Program. She is the former head of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, Associate Dean for Academic Personnel in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee. She has also served as cochair of the University of Tennessee Task Force for the Internationalization and Intercultural Awareness Initiative; secretary-treasurer and president of the Southern Comparative Literature Association (SCLA); and a member of the editorial boards for The Comparatist (SCLA) and UT Press. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including two with Olga Welch: Standing Outside on the Inside: Black Adolescents and the Construction of Academic Identity (SUNY 1997) and Making Schools Work: Negotiating Educational Meaning and Transforming the Margins (Peter Lang 2003).
Olga M. Welch recently ended a decade-plus tenure as Dean of the School of Education at Duquesne University. Before assuming that position, she was a professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education at the University of Tennessee. At Tennessee, she also served as interim head of the Educational Administration and Policy Studies Department, and head of the Counseling, Deafness and Human Services Department. She has published widely on executive mentoring, social justice, equity, and diversity. Her most recent publication is an edited volume, Turnaround Leadership: Deans of Color as Change Agents (Peter Lang 2012). She has also served as a reviewer for the United States Department of Education, and chaired several regional and national advisory boards in education. She is a member of the US Department of Health’s African American Health Care Congress and the African American Pre-Natal Issues Task Force. Among her publications are two books she has coauthored with Carolyn Hodges: Standing Outside on the Inside: Black Adolescents and the Construction of Academic Identity (SUNY 1997) and Making Schools Work: Negotiating Educational Meaning and Transforming the Margins (Peter Lang 2003).
"The authors provided a great balance of conceptually framing their work and providing rich and relevant examples from their deanships. I think this book serves as a great model of scholarly narrative writing, and it is an example I would offer to my students as such." —Teachers College Record