By Abby Weingarten
Kimberly Grainger, J.D.—a scientist, lawyer and longtime higher education leader—became the assistant vice president for academic administration in the Provost’s Office at New College on August 3.
Grainger came to New College from North Carolina Central University, where she served as an associate dean of pipeline and non-juris doctor programs, an associate dean of accreditation, and a professor of law. She is also licensed to practice law in North Carolina and New York.
“One thing that drew me to New College and the position was the specificity of the strategic plan. When goals are clear, it is easier for everyone to row in the same direction to reach the common goal,” Grainger said. “I appreciated the explicit acknowledgement of growth, student success metrics and diversity within the plan. I like the size and focus of the school, and the vision for the future.”
Grainger’s own vision for the future aligns with that of New College. She looks forward to helping diversify the student population in numerous ways, one of which is by expanding the College’s international visibility. She would also like to implement other academic initiatives aimed at promoting and celebrating the uniqueness of New College.
“I hope to work with the Latin American/Caribbean Studies and Medical Humanities areas, at some point, on a project,” Grainger said. “I am a champion of study abroad programs and encouraging students to gain international exposure, which New College also seems to support.”
And Grainger has plenty of experience on that front. She has held various university positions throughout her academic career, including faculty senate chair, Institutional Review Board chair and co-chair of the Academic Strategic Planning Committee. She has created a study abroad program, developed an academic institute and served as its director, and strategized a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation and coaching program. She even served as secretary of the faculty assembly of the University of North Carolina System.
Grainger has taught courses in torts, health law, wills and estates, and immigration law. Her research interests include healthcare reform; emerging issues in immigration law; the use of DNA as scientific evidence; and the intersection between law, health, science and race.
“The consequences of laws often impact communities of color in distinct ways—some intended and some unintended,” Grainger said about her research. “In my last article, I explored how political rhetoric initiates a cascade effect that can negatively affect minority health.”
Grainger holds a bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from Hampton University, and a juris doctor and master of public health degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow in Public Health Law, and participated in the BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program. In her teaching, Grainger incorporates various pedagogical techniques, such as flipping the classroom, formative assessments and experiential learning.
“From an administrative perspective, I am an avid user of technology and I believe that it can be used to increase efficiency in some areas. Also, law is near and dear to my heart so, at some point, I also hope to meet with the pre-law students at New College,” Grainger said. “Regarding community engagement, I hope to form a public-private partnership or similar endeavor to promote the College’s academic mission.”
Abby Weingarten is the editor/writer in the Office of Communications & Marketing.