New Cornell University Dean Shares Her Advice To Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Lynn Perry Wooten, who has worked in education for more than a decade, will soon be transitioning from The University of Michigan to Cornell University. Wooten has recently been named as the Dean of the Dyson School at Cornell University.

Wooten is a graduate of the largest HBCU, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she received her first degree in accounting. From there, she went on to Duke University and is now doing work at Harvard University. Starting this July, she’ll be relocating from Michigan to New York to begin her work at Cornell. See what this longtime educator has to say about the future of education while offering advice for newly-appointed Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. 

Full Name: Lynn Perry Wooten

Age: 50

Title: Lynn Perry Wooten/ Dean of The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics/Management at Cornell University Location: New York

Hometown: Philadelphia

Social Media: LinkedIn

Her Journey: While I was at North Carolina A&T, it solidified even more that I wanted to be a business school professor. I got my MBA at Duke and after that, I decided I’d go get a PhD in Michigan and now I’ve been in academia for more than a few decades teaching research and administration. For the last six years, I’ve been the Associate Dean for The Ross School of Business at University of Michigan. One of the things I’m really excited about is that I’m getting my certificate in advanced academic leadership a program at Harvard.

A Proud HBCU Graduate: You need a village in this complicated world and the village has to be diverse. What going to N.C. A&T did for me is that I made lifetime friends and I had professors who cared about seeing me thrive. Knowing that you’re going to be taken care of and invested in was just a priceless experience.

The Role That Parents Play In Their Child’s Education: Job number one is to nurture and love your children. I can’t remember when books were not in my house so I’m a big advocate of education and reading. So much comes from learning and investing in it. The second job is investing in a community for your child. This is going to the library, going to the museums and identifying learning pathways for your child. Also, you have to realize that every child is different; there is no solution that works for every child. Customize the experience.

Advice for Newly-Elected Secretary Of Education, Betsy DeVos: I think in the future for education, we need to commit to what is public school excellence while identifying transformation learning experiences so all children can succeed. And we need to have multiple pathways. If I were to talk to DeVos, I would be talking about excellence and equity throughout America’s public, charter and independent schools. Why Students Want Diverse Teachers: I think students want to see diverse teachers because they want those experiences to come into the classroom and enrich their learning.

Her Proudest Moment Yet: I’ve had so many proud moments but probably the proudest moments have been when a student comes back to me that has graduated and I know that I’ve done my part to nurture that student and their academic journey.  

Managing Stress: I love to sleep. Even from high school to now, that’s still one of my things. I try to get a nap in everyday. I also love to read.

Her Superpower: To balance and organize multiple things.

Her Theme Song: Rise By Andra Day