Morela Hernandez named to Collegiate Chair

September 23, 2021

On September 23, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the appointment of Ford School professor Morela Hernandez as the newly established Ligia Ramirez de Reynolds Collegiate Professor of Public Policy for a five-year renewable term.

Hernandez is an internationally recognized scholar with deep expertise in applying behavioral science insights to design and improve organizational systems and decision-making practices. At the Ford School, she is the faculty director of the Leadership Initiative. The initiative integrates leadership skills into coursework and provides assessments and coaching for graduate and undergraduate students.

Hernandez’s most recent research calls for management scholars to (re)consider and address the ways in which organizations are designed to or perpetuate inequality. Her research and papers have appeared in top publications, ranging from Personnel Psychology and Journal of Applied Psychology to the New York Times and the MIT Sloan Management Review. Hernandez also serves on several editorial boards, such as the Academy of Management Journal, and is the associate editor for the Academy of Management Review.

“I’m thrilled that Professor Hernandez has joined the Ford School faculty this fall and is now being recognized for her outstanding work with this collegiate chair,” said Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr. “Hernandez hit the ground running and has already made a big difference in our Leadership Initiative. Her research on diversity in leadership is pathbreaking and impactful.”

With her professorship name, Hernandez chose to honor Ligia Ramirez de Reynolds, the first South American woman to receive a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan.

Ramirez de Reynolds, born in Quito, Ecuador, blazed a trail for Latina women and built a legacy of dedication to teaching and learning. She earned her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures with a specialization in Spanish from U-M in 1970. After receiving her doctoral degree, she taught Spanish and literature at U-M Dearborn, Concordia College, and Eastern Michigan University. Ramirez de Reynolds resides with her husband in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Of her choice, Hernandez stated, “Dr. Ramirez de Reynolds’ willingness to lend her name to this Collegiate Chair honors the experiences of many Latin American women in academia—of being the “only” or the “first”—experiences which are at once challenging and gratifying. I admire Dr. Ramirez de Reynolds for her tenacity and determination. Indeed, I am humbled by the accomplishments of those who came before me in this institution and I’m deeply grateful to be part of U of M’s evolving history.”

Read more about Hernandez here.