Tara L. Parker


Tara L. Parker is Chair of the Leadership in Education Department and Professor of Higher Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research focuses on race and higher education, including three interrelated areas: 1) the application of critical race theory to higher education; 2) the experiences and contributions of faculty of color; and 3) the influence of public policy on developmental education and its implications for college access and success.

Dr. Parker’s scholarship has been published in the Review of Higher Education, Teachers College Record, the Journal of College Student Development and the Community College Journal of Research and Practice. She has presented her work in Canada, China, Mexico, Thailand and throughout the United States. Dr. Parker is the author of The State of Developmental Education: Higher Education and Public Policy Priorities (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014) with Leticia Bustillos and Michelle Sterk Barrett and Racism and Racial Equity in Higher Education (Jossey-Bass, 2015) with Samuel Museus and Maria Ledesma.

Dr. Parker was awarded the 2020 Presidential Medal Honorable Mention at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) for her influence as a local change agent. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Review of Higher Education and the American Educational Research Journal.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Dr. Parker earned her Ph.D. from New York University, her M.A. from the University of Minnesota, and her B.A. from Marist College.

Author's Books

The Community's College

The Pursuit of Democracy, Economic Development, and Success


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