Black women are continuing to break major racial barriers in the realm of academia. According to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Kimberly Mutcherson was recently selected to become the dean of Rutgers University’s law school.
Mutcherson’s historic appointment is one of many firsts, the news outlet writes. She is the first woman, the first Black person and the first LGBT individual to serve in this role. Mutcherson started her journey at Rutgers 17 years ago as an assistant professor. She then moved up the ranks and in 2015 was named vice dean of the New Jersey-based university’s law school.
Mutcherson—who earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a juris doctorate degree from Columbia Law School—has conducted research surrounding reproductive justice. During her career she’s worked with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the HIV Law Project. “I am thrilled to be able to continue my service to Rutgers law as co-dean,” said Mutcherson, according to the Philadelphia Tribune. “I know that our institution has a very bright future and will continue to provide a high-quality legal education and produce lawyers who change the profession and the world for the better.”
Rutgers University-Camden Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon said that Mutcherson will play an integral role in building upon the momentum and energy at Rutgers Law. “She is passionate about the value of a legal education that prepares creative thinkers who are ready to be leaders in virtually every aspect of our society. She sees with clarity the role of the law in protecting individual rights” said Haddon.
Mutcherson started her new role on January 1. Her appointment comes just months after Olivette Otele made history by becoming the first Black woman history professor in the UK after being selected to teach at Bath Spa University.