Barbara R. Hatton, Ph.D.

Biographical Profile

January, 2017

Barbara R. Hatton is a lifelong educator.   During her forty-three year career in academia, Dr. Hatton held professorial and leadership positions at colleges, universities and at a philanthropic organization, where she conceptualized and spearheaded major policy initiatives.  Through these positions and as author, consultant, public speaker or director, her voice has been raised in every policy arena across the nation to urge greater excellence and equity in teacher preparation, leadership development, school reform initiatives, and in the organizational development of schools and colleges. 

Most recently, Dr. Hatton designed, organized and led the pioneering work program at Knoxville College, where she was President from 1997-2005.  This work is documented in her  essay, "Reinventing Black Colleges in Post-Ethnic America: The Case of Knoxville College," in New Directions in Higher Education , Number 156, Winter 2011 (available at  Through the work program, the College implemented a debt-free policy. Thus, its students earned their tuition and support by working their way to a college degree through internships on and off campus, and graduated unencumbered by student loan debt.

In the early 1990s, as the first woman President of South Carolina State University (1992-1995), Dr. Hatton led organizational and development efforts to actualize the University’s potential for taking its place among major universities of South Carolina and the Southeast region. Central among these efforts were her successes in implementing new strategic and master plans, new collaborations with other institutions of higher learning and the business community,  and in soliciting lead gifts to launch the University’s first capital campaign.  

As President of South Carolina State University, Dr. Hatton was also successful in gaining state-wide policy changes in fields that were the focus of national policy initiatives to assure accessibility and diversity in higher education. She personally led efforts to gain approval of legislation to qualify engineering technology graduates, primarily African American, for the licensure examination in engineering, a field in which African Americans have long been underrepresented.  And, because of her advocacy, the University gained support for the establishment and maintenance of its laboratory school as a professional development school, thus providing a statewide resource for teachers and teacher candidates of all races from across the state to receive clinical instruction focused on enhanced cross-cultural teaching skills. 

Dr. Hatton’s leadership of South Carolina State University came after her service as  Deputy Director of the Education and Culture Program at the Ford Foundation.  There she created and led a national program to address the shortage of minority teachers, developed a rural education program, managed the Foundation's school improvement portfolio, and served as an in-house advisor on historically black colleges.  Her minority teachers program at the Foundation established consortia of teacher preparation programs to demonstrate ways for  identifying talented, but conventionally unrecognized African-American, Hispanic, and Native American high school students.  Funds were provided to recruit such students and enroll them in preparation programs designed for their accelerated progress.  The program ultimately validated the success of these educational models, stimulated concomitant action in other foundations, and supported national legislation to address teacher shortages.  

The work at Ford followed Dr. Hatton’s service at Tuskegee University in the 1980s, where she was the first woman to hold the position of Dean of Education.  There, she was responsible for increasing the efficiency and productivity of the School of Education and for the adoption of a statewide policy change affecting small teacher education programs like Tuskegee's program. Consequently, she was invited to testify before the U. S. Congress on ways to address the critical shortage of minority teachers.  Her essay, including the points emphasized in her congressional testimony entitled, “A Game Plan for Ending the Minority Teacher Shortage,” was published in the official publication of the National Education Association.

During the 1970s, Dr. Hatton completed her doctorate at Stanford University which led to her appointment as the first African-American woman to serve as assistant professor of administration and policy analysis in the University’s School of Education.  At Stanford, Dr. Hatton also led the administrative and field operations of Stanford’s Urban/Rural School Development Institute as its Deputy Director.  The Institute was the technical assistance arm of a school reform initiative funded in twenty-five states by the U. S. Department of Education.  

She had applied for study at Stanford after serving in the 1960s as a founding member of the organizational and administrative team of the Federal City College, a new urban college intiated by the Kennedy administration which later merged with the Washington Technical Institute to become what is now the University of the District of Columbia. 

In addition to her work in colleges and universities, Dr. Hatton has been an active participant in organizational initiatives promoting the twin goals of educational equity ad excellence across the spectrum of educational policy initiatives.  She is a past chairman of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and was a founding member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She has served on the boards of the National Center on Education and the Economy, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the board of the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, and the College Board’s Equity 2000 Project.

Dr. Hatton has been recognized for her professional accomplishments and service with the ROSE Award (University of Southern California School of Education), the Howard University Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement, the Chief Manuelito Award of the Navajo Nation and the Drum Major for Justice Award of the Southern Leadership Christian Conference, among others.  

Dr. Hatton is the author of articles in diverse publications, from major newspapers to academic journals. Her most recent publication is The Politics of Success: An HBCU Leadership Paradigm, published by the Atlanta Univeristy Center's Robert W. Woodruff Library, November 2012.  It is available at  She also has written successful proposals garnering millions of dollars in institutional funding from government agencies, financial institutions and philanthropic organizations. Currently writing two books on  African American education, Dr. Hatton provides consulting services to educators and policymakers d/b/a Educator Ventures, Inc.

Born in rural Georgia and educated in the public schools of Atlanta, Dr. Hatton earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in mathematics and education (B.S.) from Howard University in Washington, D.C.  She taught mathematics at Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School before getting her first master’s degree (M.A.) from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). She completed a second master’s degree in Business and Education (M.E.A) and the Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Administration and Policy Analysis at Stanford University.

Dr. Hatton is the proud mother of one daughter, an ethnomusicologist, educator and musician.   

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