Alicia C. Dowd, Ph.D., is an associate professor of higher education at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education and codirector of the Center for Urban Education (CUE). Her research focuses on political–economic issues of racial/ethnic equity in postsecondary outcomes, organizational learning and effectiveness, accountability, and the factors affecting student attainment in higher education. Since joining CUE in 2006, she has been instrumental in developing the Equity Scorecard, CUE’s signature action research process.
Dowd is currently the principal investigator of a study of organizational learning through data use under conditions of accountability in higher education, which is funded by the Spencer Foundation. Previously, she was the principal investigator of several national studies of institutional effectiveness, equity, community college transfer, benchmarking, and assessment, including a multiyear National Science Foundation–funded study of Pathways to STEM Bachelor’s and Graduate Degrees for Hispanic Students and the Role of Hispanic Serving Institutions. The results of these studies have been published in numerous journals including the Review of Educational Research, Harvard Educational Review, Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and Teacher’s College Record.
Dowd is a frequent speaker on the topics of diversity and equity. She has provided Congressional testimony on diversity in STEM to the House subcommittee on Research and Science Education and addressed the topic of “Developing supportive STEM community college to 4-year college and university transfer ecosystems” at a convening of the National Academies of Sciences. Dowd was awarded her doctorate by Cornell University, where she studied the social foundations of education, labor economics, and curriculum and instruction.