University names dean of College of Urban Education


Susan Gunn. Courtesy Davenport University

A woman acting as an interim dean has been charged with continuing to develop a local university’s College of Urban Education.

Davenport University said last week that it has appointed Susan Gunn as dean for the college, effective immediately.

Gunn was appointed as interim dean last April.

The role

Gunn has helped develop the curriculum for the College of Urban Education with faculty and staff and launched the second cohort of students within its Master of Urban Education program.

Gunn indicated her day-to-day duties and responsibilities will stay the same, as she transitions from the interim role.

“I’m really excited about it, and I’m looking forward to developing the college and design ways to support our teachers in urban environments who are helping kids,” Gunn said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Grand Rapids Public Schools. They are doing some exciting things, and I think we are as well. It is a great partnership.”


Gunn said she would like to develop additional programming options within the college.

“I would like to start a master’s in educational leadership, we would like to build an undergraduate program and ultimately a doctorate degree.”

Gunn's background

Gunn joined Davenport University as an assistant professor in 2010 and has served as chair of the science department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

While at the university, she has helped renovate existing labs to improve air quality, develop a STEM-based community outreach summer camp program and create new science programming.

She also has experience teaching at different academic levels: high school, undergraduate, graduate and medical school.

Her first teaching position was at her alma mater, Cass Technical High School, within the Detroit Public Schools system.

“I’m a product of Detroit Public Schools and to have this opportunity to give back is just wonderful,” Gunn said. “I want to emphasize for me, it’s a job, but it is a mission too.”

Gunn has a bachelor’s in education and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Michigan. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan Medical School. 

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