Dr. Cris Clifford Cullinan has been a teacher, curriculum designer and organizational consultant since 1972. Her work for federal, state and local government and educational institutions has taken her to more than 35 states as well as other countries, and given her the opportunity to lead seminars and teach classes for faculty, administrators, students and other professionals at many colleges and universities. She also works as a consultant to the National Association of Independent Schools and their 1600+ member schools.
In all of these educational institutions. Dr. Cullinan assists in the development of practical strategies for increasing equity, and recognizing and eliminating structures, policies and practices that support institutionalized privilege. In general, Dr. Cullinan focuses her academic and professional work on helping educational institutions, schools, agencies and other organizations build culturally competent, anti-racist leadership within the pool of existing administrators, staff and faculty, as well as build these competencies as a recognized and required knowledge and skill set into hiring and retention processes.
Dr. Cullinan’s work is currently focusing on the dangers and challenges inherent when “diversity work“ primarily involves creating a more comfortable space for dominant group members on campus by downplaying or eliminating the need for organizational change to increase equity and meaningful inclusion. She is particularly appalled at the ways colleges, universities and schools retreat from anti-racist equity work in the face of white supremacist backlash, usually leaving racialized members of the campus and school community to be both those identified as responsibility for seeking such equity and the designated targets of the psychological and physical violence such a backlash produces.
During her 23 year tenure at the University of Oregon, as assistant professor and professional development director for faculty and administrators, Dr. Cullinan addressed a wide array of institutional and department level issues through the design and delivery of focused knowledge and skill development programs. Among other responsibilities, she was primarily responsible for coordinating, designing, and implementing training programs focusing on equity, supervision, preventing and dealing with harassment and discrimination, creating respectful and inclusive work environments, curriculum design, project management, and organizational and team development.
Cris Cullinan holds a Ph.D. (2001) from the University of Oregon in educational policy and management, with a focus in higher education. Her dissertation was titled “Experience, Education, Culture and Context: A Case Study of the Forces that Shape Department Chair Behavior.” Dr. Cullinan also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University.