Dr. Jacob U. Gordon, a graduate of Bethune-Cookman College, Howard and Michigan State Universities, and Union Theological Seminary, is a professor emeritus of African and African-American Studies, a research fellow of the Institute of Life Span Studies, and the executive director of the Center for Multicultural Leadership. His areas of specialty are civil rights and black leadership, and has also taught Introduction to African History, The Black Experience in the Americas, and Introduction to Africa. He has had teaching experiences at Albany State University and Rust College. Dr. Gordon is the author, editor or co-editor of many books such as The African Presence in America; Black Leadership for Social Change; The African-American Male in American Life and Thought; The African-American Male: An Annotated Bibliography; A Search for Equal Justice by African American Lawyers; A Systems Change Approach to Substance Abuse Prevention; The African-American Male: His Present Status and His Future; African Leadership in the 20th Century; The Black Male in White America; Narratives of African Americas in Kansas, 1870-1992: Beyond the Exodus Movement and Managing Multiculturalism in Substance Abuse Services, among others. He is currently editing a book manuscript on African Studies in the 21st Century.
Dr. Gordon is the recipient of numerous grants from the US Department of Education, the Kansas Council for the Humanities, National Archives, Kansas Department of Education, Social and Rehabilitation Services, Florence and John Schumann Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Village Foundation, and FIPSE, among others. The founding chair of the Department, Dr. Gordon is the recipient of many service awards such as Gov. Mike Haydens Award for Outstanding Service in Substance Abuse Prevention, KU Black Faculty and Staff Leadership/Service Award, the Wally and Marie Steeples Faculty Award for Outstanding Service to the People of Kansas, the University of Kansas Service Award, Kansas African-American Affairs Commission's Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Kansas Black Legislative Caucus' Certificate of Appreciation, among others. Dr. Gordon is a member of the African Studies Association, Mid-America Alliance for African Studies, National Council of African-American Men, Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, American Historical Society and Phi Beta Delta (Honor Society for International Scholars).