Dr. Sosanya Jones | EAHE | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Dr. Sosanya Jones

Assistant Professor, Qualitative Research Methods & Higher Education

Sosanya Jones

Phone: 618-453-6066 Email: smjones@siu.edu
Office: 128C Pulliam Hall
475 Clocktower Dr, Mail Code: 131
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois 62901

Dr. Jones has more than fifteen years of experience in higher education administration, teaching, and research. Her experiences as an institutional and state administrator who oversaw higher education diversity and retention initiatives inspires her scholarship and teaching.  In her research, teaching, and service, Dr. Jones seeks to raise critical questions and deepen understanding about the nexus between international, national, and institutional policy and practice aimed at increasing access, retention, and inclusion for historically underrepresented students of color. As a qualitative researcher, she draws upon the practical knowledge and voices of policymakers, institutional leaders, and diversity practitioners to spark reflection and action that will improve and expand support for diversity and inclusion efforts. A former research consultant for The Ford Foundation and The Community College Research Center, Dr. Jones currently serves as an expert adviser for the Southern Education Foundation on issues related to equity and performance funding.  


  • Ed.D., Higher and Postsecondary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • M.A./Ed.S., Clinical Mental Health Counseling, James Madison University
  • B.A., Psychology, James Madison University

Selected Publications (Books)

  • Jones, T., Jones, S., Owens, L., Assalone, A., Elliot, K., & Gandara, D. (2017). Outcomes based funding and race in higher education: Can equity be bought? Basingstoke, UK. Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Dougherty, K.J., Jones, S.M., Lahr, H., Natow, R.S., Pheatt, L., & Reddy, V. (2016). Performance funding for higher education. Baltimore, MD, John Hopkins Press

Selected Publications (Peer-Reviewed Articles)

  • Lewis, N.R., Jones, S., Frierson, H. (in press). Reasons African Americans pursue the science doctorate:  An exploratory study of current doctoral students’ perceptions. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.
  • Jones, S. (2016, June). More than an intervention: Strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM. Journal for Multicultural Education, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.234 - 246.                                                                                            
  • Dougherty, K.J., Jones, S.M., Lahr, H., Natow, R.S., Pheatt, L., & Reddy, V. (2016, April). Looking inside the black box of performance funding for higher education: Policy instruments, organizational obstacles, and intended and unintended impacts. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 2.1: pp.147-173.  
  • Jones, S. (2015, December). When the state isn't there: A historical case study of innovation in the face of state budget cuts. Working Papers in Higher Education Studies, 1(2), pp. 43-61.
  • Jones, S. (2014, November). Diversity leadership under race-neutrality. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 33(1), pp. 708-720
  • Dougherty, K.J., Jones, S.M., Lahr, H., Natow, R.S., Pheatt, L., & Reddy, V. (2014, September). Performance funding for higher education: Forms, originas, impacts, and futures. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol 655(1), pp. 163-184.
  • Jones, S. (2014, March). Cultivating diversity and inclusion in higher education: The role of graduate school preparation programs. Urban Education Research and Policy Annuals, 2(1), pp. 28-38. 
  • Dougherty, K.J., Natow, R.S., Bork, R.H., Jones, S.M., & Vega, B.E. (2013). Accounting for higher education accountability. Teachers College Record, 115(1).

Selected Publications (White Papers, Invited Essays, & Book Chapters)

  • Jones, S. (2017). Incentivizing diversity: Midwestern performance funding policy and diversity indicators (FFR 2017‑1). Edwardsville, IL: Illinois Educational Research Council at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
  • Jones, T. & Jones, S. (2017). Can equity be bought? A look at outcomes-based funding in higher ed. Blog Post for The Education Trust. 
  • Jones, S. (2016). Predominately White colleges and universities- an overview. People of Color in the United States: Contemporary Issues in Education, Work, Communities, Health, and Immigration. Santa Barbara,CA: ABC-CLIO.
  • Jones, S.M., Dougherty, K.J., Natow, R.S., Pheatt, L., & Reddy, V. (2015, March). Organizational learning by colleges responding to performance funding: Deliberative structures and their challenges. The Community College Research Center.
  • Dougherty, K.J., Natow, R. S., Jones, S.M.. Lahr, H., Pheatt, L., & Reddy, V. (2015). Origins of the second wave of performance funding adoptions. In Dougherty, K.J. and Natow, R.S. (2015). The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.
  • Jones, S. (2014, Summer). Unveiling Clark Kent: Recognizing the extraordinary diversity leadership of graduate school administrators. NAGAP Perspectives, 26 (3), pp.9-15.

Selected Publications (Book Reviews)

  • Jones, S. (2017, March). [Review of the book RIP Jim Crow: Fighting racism through higher education policy, curriculum, and cultural interventions by Stead, V. (Eds).] Teachers College Record.
  • Jones, S. (2013, Spring). A call to action. [Review of the book Completing college: Rethinking institutional action by V. Tinto]. The Review of Higher Education, 36(3).
  • Anderson, G. and Jones, S. (2006, Fall). Challenging racism in higher education [Review of the book Challenging Racism in Higher Education by M. Chesler, A. Lewis, and J. Crowfoot].  The Review of Higher Education, 30(1), p. 69-70.

Selected Presentations

  • Jones, S. (2017). Fight the power or succumb to it: Subversive tactics for leading diversity efforts in a race-adverse climate. Presented at the 42nd Annual Assocation for the Study of Higher Education Conference, Houston, TX.
  • Jones, S. and Yeomans, M. (2017). Beyond symbolic gestures: Moving past institutional barriers to greater diversity and inclusion. Presented at Salukis United for Diversity Conference, SIUC, Carbondale, IL.
  • Jones, S. (2017). On the front lines: The work and challenges of diversity leaders in higher education. Featured Guest Speaker for SIUC Mass Communications and Media Proseminar Series.
  • Assalone, A., Jones, S., Jones, T., Li, A., Russell, L., Saumby, S. (2016). Can Equity Be Bought? Performance Based Funding and Racial Equity. Presented at the 41st Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.
  • Jones, S. (2016). Diversity, Inclusion, Safe Spaces, and All That Other PC Crap. Brown Bag presentation for SIUC's College of Education and Human Services. 
  • Jones, S. (2016). This bridge feels like a tightrope: Engaging in qualitative research for policy audiences. Presented at the Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.
  • Jones, S. (2016). The promise and challenge of internationalization at the University of Alberta. Featured presentation for The University of Calgary. 
  • Jones, S. (2016). A few too many: What outliers, small samples, and ambiguous characters in research can teach us. Keynote speech for The University of Alberta's Educational Policy Studies Research Day.
  • Jones, T., Jones, S., & Granger, S. (2015). New funding, same results: Examining performance and outcomes based funding inequities. Presented at the Council of Public Policy Pre-Conference for 40th Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, Denver, CO.
  • Jones, S. (2014). Programs that catch and keep black females in the educational K-20 pipeline. Presented at the 1st Annual International Conference on Urban Education, Montego Bay, Jamaica.  
  • Jones, S. (2014). Sustaining diversity:  A multi-case examination of challenges and struggles of sustaining diversity programs in higher education.  Presented at the 1st Annual Pennsylvania State University Conference on Civil Rights and Education, State College, PA.
  • Jones, S. Dougherty, K., Natow, R., Lahr, H., Pheatt, L. Reddy, V. (2014). Organizational learning and performance funding. Presented at the 2014 American Educational Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Jones, S. (2013). The critical role of graduate preparation program leaders. Presented at 38th Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO. 

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 COEHS Early Career Faculty Excellence Award
  • 2016-2017 Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) Faculty Fellowship Award
  • 2015-2016 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Education, University of Alberta, Canada
  • 2015 Research, Scholarly, & Creative Activity Award for SIU Carbondale New Assistant Professors. Sponsored by SIU-C's Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and University Women’s Professional Advancement
  • 2013 Fellow for the Asa G. Hilliard III and Barbara A. Sizemore Research Institute on African Americans and Education Fellow. Sponsored by the American Educational Research Association’s Research on Black Education SIG

Courses Taught

  • EAHE 587: Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • EAHE 594: Advanced Qualitative Research
  • EAHE 508: Student Development Theories
  • EAHE 515: Student Affairs Administration
  • EAHE 547: Evaluation of Educational Research
  • EAHE 538: Education and Social Forces