John F. McKnight, Jr., Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion
John F. McKnight Jr.

Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion

John F. McKnight Jr. joined Connecticut College in 2016 as dean of institutional equity and inclusion. He is responsible for the overall vision and leadership of the work of equity and inclusion, and collaborates with leaders across campus to fulfill its commitment to full participation. He oversees the offices of the equity and compliance programs, gender and sexuality programs, race and ethnicity programs, and religious and spiritual life.

Throughout his career, McKnight has held a variety of administrative positions, first at Lehigh University and later, at Lafayette College, where he designed and implemented successful initiatives to foster inclusive campus communities. Of particular note are the programs in intercultural competency and in social justice peer education that he established at Lafayette, both of which have had a singular impact on the campus culture.

As dean of intercultural development and deputy Title IX coordinator at Lafayette College, McKnight was responsible for managing five areas within the campus life division, including student leadership and involvement, religious and spiritual life, gender and sexuality programs, international student advising, and intercultural development. He designed and implemented an annual social justice ally development retreat for students and, as coordinator of the bias-response team, co-led the “Civility Project,” a proactive approach to bias education. A natural collaborator, John worked closely with faculty, staff, and students across the divisions to advance programming, advocacy for underrepresented populations, and community building. He also transformed Lafayette’s multicultural recruitment efforts in partnership with the enrollment management division. He was twice named the Aaron O. Hoff Administrator of the Year, and also received an Excellence in Mentorship Award at Lafayette, in recognition of these efforts.

McKnight holds a doctorate of education in administration and leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master of science in higher education administration from Indiana University and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida.