Congratulations and Farewell, Dr. Manning!
Christopher Manning moves to the University of Southern California
The History Department is losing a valued colleague this spring, as Dr. Christopher Manning moves to the University of Southern California in March to become Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer. He will report to USC President Carol L. Folt and will play a central role in USC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Dr. Manning joined the Loyola faculty in 2002 as a visiting professor while still a graduate student at Northwestern University, where he studied with Adam Green. He impressed his colleagues and was offered a permanent position, soon rising to Associate Professor of History in 2008. In 2016, he moved into the upper levels of Loyola administration, becoming Assistant Provost and then Associate Provost for Academic Diversity, where he developed Loyola’s Anti-Racism Initiative and designed concrete steps for diversifying our faculty. Dr. Manning spent 2019-20 at San Diego State University as an American Council of Education fellow, a prestigious program that develops promising academic administrators by embedding them with senior leadership at another institution.
Dr. Manning is the author of Ties That Bind: William L. Dawson and the Limits of Black Electoral Leadership in the Twentieth Century (Northern Illinois University Press, 2009), which explores the constraints on African American political insiders in Chicago politics. As an alderman and congressman, Bill Dawson skillfully built a political empire within Chicago’s largely white Democratic Party machine, and Ties that Bind shows how Dawson used it to advance vital needs of the city’s African American community, like to employment and city programs, but at the expense of a more progressive civil rights agenda. Dr. Manning is currently in the final stages of an oral history project that reveals the experiences of volunteers in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Service has defined much of Dr. Manning’s time at Loyola. In the History Department, he served as Undergraduate Program Director for five years, Core Curriculum Director for five years, and as History Club adviser for two years. Throughout, he showed a passion for improving the inner-workings of Loyola to make the university more responsive and more inclusive. In the classroom, Dr. Manning taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses through social justice lenses, including ones on American Pluralism, the Civil Rights Movement, Black Chicago, and oral history method and theory. Finally, in his spare time, he was an active member of Chicago’s dance community and founded a non-profit company, Inspiración Dance Chicago, that offers youth and adult programming.
The History Department is deeply gratefully for Dr. Manning’s devotion to his colleagues, his students, and to making real Loyola University Chicago’s mission of social justice. We are sure that USC is fortunate to have his many talents, and his energy and earned experience will be missed.