July 9, 2019

LAUSD’s Frances Gipson to Lead Urban Leadership Program

SES Dean DeLacy Ganley with Frances Gipson
SES Dean DeLacy Ganley (left) with alumna and LAUSD Chief Academic Officer Frances Gipson at this spring's CGU Distinguished Alumni Awards. Gipson takes over the role of director of SES' Urban Leadership Program effective July 15.

Alumna Frances Gipson, who has been the longest-serving Chief Academic Officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has agreed to join the university as director of the School of Educational Studies’ (SES) Urban Leadership Program, according to an announcement from SES Dean DeLacy Ganley.

“I cannot think of a person better-suited to this role,” said Ganley, whose announcement went out to the SES community this afternoon.  “I am so thrilled that she–both as an alumna and specifically as a product of our Urban Leadership Program–has agreed to join the School of Educational Studies.”

Gipson, who received a doctorate in Education at CGU in 2012, has served in a variety of roles in the LAUSD, starting as a teacher, school principal, administrator of instruction and as local district east superintendent.

In 2015, she was chosen by the LAUSD Board to be Chief Academic Officer and oversee the instructional strategies for a student population of 730,000-plus students (LAUSD’s student population is second in size only to the New York City Department of Education’s).

The university’s Urban Leadership program recognizes the challenges specific to school districts in diverse, urban communities.

Urban leadership alums like Gipson, Ganley noted in her announcement, “have used their CGU experience to propel themselves into becoming superintendents, chief academic officers, community college presidents, and elected officials.”

Gipson was recently honored by CGU with a 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. In a video viewed during the award ceremony, Gipson said her doctoral program enabled her to engage with the entire Claremont Colleges community and with other institutions in a powerful academic experience.


“One of the things I love about CGU is you have access to every single college and the opportunity to have what I call these ‘cross-stitching experiences,’ ” she explained in the video.

Gipson’s role as Urban Leadership Program director starts July 15.

“The only thing that excites me more than having Frances lead our Urban Leadership Program,” Ganley said at the end of her announcement, “is the thought of our students having a chance to work with her.”


Learn more here about CGU’s Urban Leadership Program.