Heather Fitz Gibbon

Heather Fitz Gibbon

Dean for Faculty Development; Professor of Sociology and Anthropology

Department/Affiliation: Academic Affairs, Sociology and Anthropology, President's Cabinet
Phone: 330-263-2576
Office Address: 107 Galpin

Academic Affairs Coordinator & Assistant to the Dean for Faculty Development: Darlene Berresford

The Dean for Faculty Development is responsible for leading faculty development; providing faculty support for teaching, research and scholarship; and maintaining the intellectual climate on campus through faculty presentations. Together with the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Dean for Faculty Development will seek to advance the hiring and retaining of faculty of diversity. The Dean also is responsible for the following areas:

  • Supporting faculty members in their teaching and professional development
  • Facilitating faculty scholarship and helping the enrichment of the intellectual dimensions of the campus (e.g., arranging Faculty at Large lectures, Faculty Research Luncheons, etc.)
  • Planning new faculty orientation
  • Implementing a strong mentoring program for new and junior faculty
  • Coordinating and strengthening faculty efforts on grants writing
  • Supporting faculty members in quality of life issues (such as child care, spousal/partner employment needs, pre-retirement support, etc.)
  • Hiring of visiting faculty members
  • Preparing faculty meeting agenda
  • Maintaining records and lists related to the faculty (including, but not limited to, teaching loads, committee work, etc.)
  • Overseeing undergraduate research programs (SOREP, summer research programs, etc.)
  • Assigning faculty offices
  • Overseeing policy issues related to teaching facilities

Heather Fitz Gibbon, Professor of Sociology & Anthropology and Urban Studies, is serving as the Dean for Faculty Development.


  • A.B., Kenyon College 1981
  • M.A., Northwestern University 1983
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University 1988

Courses Taught

  • SOCI 204: Self and Society
  • SOCI 206: Urban Sociology
  • SOCI 207: Sociology of Gender
  • SOCI 350: Classical Social Theory


"Learning to Mother: The Definition of Motherhood by Participants in a Welfare Reform Parenting Class." The International Journal of Sociology of the Family. Vol. 36, no. 1, Spring, 2010.

"Child Care Across Sectors: A Comparison of the Work of Child Care in Three Settings" in Child Care and Inequality: Re-Thinking Carework for Children and Youth, edited by Francesca Cancian, Demie Kurz, Andrew london, Rebecca Reviere, and Mary Tuominen. Routledge Press. 2002.

Awards and Professional Memberships

  • University Fellowship from Northwestern University
  • Named "Friend of Young Children" by the Wayne County Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Named to Who's Who in American Teachers
  • Sociologists for Women in Society
  • Midwest Sociological Society
  • American Sociological Association

Research Interests

  • Gender Roles and the Family
  • Urban Sociology
  • Childcare
  • Children and Family
  • Women and Work


As a faculty member since 1990, Fitz Gibbon's current research focuses on definitions of motherhood within the welfare system.  Much of her research has been published, including "Reassessing Commitments to Work and Family in a Changing Economy" in Qualitative Sociology and several book chapters. She has also been an active community based researcher, conducting program evaluation for several programs including the Even Start programs for Wayne County and Franklin County, Ohio.