Public Statement

In Memoriam: K. Patricia Cross

AAC&U mourns the death on May 8 of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California, Berkeley. Cross’s distinguished career as a university administrator, researcher, and teacher included service as the David Pierpont Gardner Professor of Education at UC Berkeley; professor and chair of the department of administration, planning, and social policy at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education; distinguished research scientist at the Educational Testing Service; dean of students at Cornell University; and assistant dean of women at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. A member of the National Academy of Education, she was the author of eight books and more than two hundred articles, monographs, and chapters.

Throughout her career, Cross helped the higher education community better understand our students, their characteristics, and their needs—and to recognize our responsibilities. Her groundbreaking scholarship paved the way for a legacy of work on age, socioeconomic class, gender, race, sexual orientation, and numerous other aspects of intersectional social identity. This extraordinary legacy is extended by the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award. Administered by AAC&U, the annual award recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education and who are committed to academic innovation in the areas of equity, community engagement, and teaching and learning.

“All of us at AAC&U are deeply saddened by the loss of Pat Cross,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We are honored to help ensure that her pioneering work continues to influence new generations of leadership in higher education through the Future Leaders Award.”