Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of  Dana N. Thompson Dorsey

Thompson Dorsey, Dana N.

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy

T: 919.843.5249
F: 919.962.1693
121E Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

- Malcolm X

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

- Nelson Mandela


Dana Thompson Dorsey teaches graduate courses on school law, policy, and race and culture. Dr. Thompson Dorsey received a JD and PhD in Education in the Administrative and Policy Studies program from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999 and 2007, respectively. During her doctoral studies and directly thereafter, Dr. Thompson Dorsey worked as a Senior Research Analyst for a research, evaluation and policy firm in the Washington, DC area. Prior to her faculty appointment at UNC, Dr. Thompson Dorsey held a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Springfield and had a post-doctoral research position at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Thompson Dorsey’s research interests are education law, policy, and critical race theory in education. Her research focuses on critically examining education laws, policies and practices, and their potential or actual influence on P-20 educational equity, access and/or opportunity for students of color and other marginalized groups. Currently, Dr. Thompson Dorsey’s research is concentrated on school segregation, affirmative action, and racial and rural identity issues of high school students in rural and racially segregated communities, as well as the legal, policy, and practical implications related to the aforementioned topics. Her research has been published in various scholarly journals, and she also has made numerous presentations at professional conferences.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 2007 - University of Pittsburgh, Education - Administrative and Policy Studies
  • J.D. 1999 - University of Pittsburgh, Law
  • B.S. 1994 - Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Accounting

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education - Policy, Leadership and School Improvement

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Research Interests

  • Race-based Educational Policies and Equity Issues
  • Education Law
  • Critical Race Theory

Teaching Areas

  • Education Law
  • Education Policy
  • Race and Culture


  • EDUC 742 - Law for the School Executive
  • EDUC 831 - School Law for Social Justice and Equity
  • EDUC 837 - Cultural Aspects of Leadership and Instruction in School Reform
  • EDUC 871- School Law and Public Policy
  • EDUC 972-Critical Race Theory: History, Research, and Practice in Education

Honors & Awards

  • 2006-2007, Recipient, University of Pittsburgh School of Education Alumni Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2004–2007, Recipient, Horace Mann Bond-Leslie Pinckney Hill Scholarship, PA Department of Education
  • 2003–2006, K. Leroy Irvis Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh
  • 1999, Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction's (CALI) Award for Dispute Resolution and Award for Best Paper, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • 1990-1994, Lincoln University Presidential Merit Scholarship, Lincoln University, PA

Funded Research

  • Examining Racial Segregation in Rural Schools (2012). Junior Faculty Development Award, UNC-Chapel Hill, $7,500.

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • University Council on Educational Administration (UCEA)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Public Service

  • 2010-present, Guest Reviewer, The Negro Educational Review.
  • 2009-2010, Member, College of Education and Human Services Personnel Committee, University of Illinois at Springfield
  • 2005-present, Reviewer for American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference proposals, Divisions G (Social Context of Education), L (Educational Policy and Politics), and SIGs: Law and Education and Critical Examination of Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in Education.
  • 2004-2007, Co-Founder and member, Alliance of Urban Scholars (All of US) Doctoral Study and Writing Group, University of Pittsburgh School of Education.

Selected Publications

Gooden, M. & Thompson Dorsey, D. N. (forthcoming, 2014). The distorted looking glass: Examining how housing privilege obviates the goals of Brown v. Board of Education at 60. Educational Administration Quarterly.

Parsons, E. R. C., Thompson Dorsey, D. N. (in press). Colorblindness in the next generation of science standards: A perpetuation rather than the disruption of the status quo in education. In L. D. Drakeford (Ed.), The race controversy in American education. Praeger Publishing.

Thompson Dorsey, D. N. & Venzant Chambers, T. (2014). Growing C-D-R (Cedar): Working the intersections of interest convergence and whiteness as property in the affirmative action legal debate. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 17(1), 56-87.

Thompson Dorsey, D. N. (2013). Segregation 2.0: The new generation of school segregation in the 21st century. Education and Urban Society, 45(5), 33-547.

Thompson Dorsey, D. N. (2012). In loco parentis: Should teachers take the place of parents in all school disciplinary matters? Point. In S. E. Eckes & C. J. Russo (Vol Eds.), Debating issues in American education: School discipline and safety (Volume 5) (pp. 197-202). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Thompson Dorsey, D. N. (2010). Accessing the legal playing field: Examining the race-conscious affirmative action legal debate through the eyes of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Program. Texas Wesleyan Law Review (now Texas A & M Law Review), 16(4), 645-685.

Thompson Dorsey, D. N. (2008). An examination of the legal debate regarding race-based education policies from 1849 – 1964. The Negro Educational Review, 59(1-2), 7-26.

Update Profile