Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb has died, the longtime and very successful president of the California State University at Fullerton, widely reported as the first Black woman to head a major U.S. research institution. She was a biologist and had served as dean at two other schools, became a finalist for president of Hunter College in New York City, but was passed over due to pressure from politicians. Her grandfather had been born in slavery, and she faced discrimination too; she started college at the University of Michigan but found that Black students weren’t allowed to live on campus, so she transferred. At Fullerton, then a commuter school, she built the first on-campus housing, created new academic departments, pushed for increased minority admissions and campaigned for women in science, tech, engineering and maths. (Cal State-Fullerton)

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