College of Education and Human Development

Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Rebecca Ropers

  • Professor; Senior Advisor, Academic Leadership and Conflict Resolution, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Office of Equity and Diversity

Rebecca Ropers

Areas of interest

Leadership in higher education
Faculty and academic affairs
Equity-oriented change
Race and gender in higher education


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, educational administration, higher education concentration
M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, educational administration, higher education concentration
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, psychology and German



My scholarship focuses on how educators create environments that are accessible to, nurturing of, and reliant upon people in our diverse communities. I foreground the social role of higher education and investigate equity-oriented change in higher education in the United States and internationally.

Selected awards and honors

American Council on Education Fellowship (2022-23)
Educational Leadership Award, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota (2015)
Fulbright-Klagenfurt Visiting Professor in Higher Education Research (2014)
Outstanding Academic Advising Award, Graduate and Professional Student Association, University of Minnesota (2012)

Professional affiliations

Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
American Council on Education
Big 10 Academic Alliance


Ropers, R. & Diamond, K. (2021). Gender subtexts in Austrian universities: Constructions of gender through policies and practices. In Women and Education: Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges. Nova Publishers.

Ehlinger, E. & Ropers, R. (2020). "It's All About Learning as a Community": Facilitating the Learning of Students With Disabilities in Higher Education Classrooms. Journal of College Student Development 61(3), 333-349. doi:10.1353/csd.2020.0031.

David, M. & Amey, M. (Eds.) and Eddy, P., Ropers, R., & Shain, F. (Associate Eds.) (2020). The Sage encyclopedia of higher education. Sage. [Recipient of Library Journal’s Best Reference Works of 2020]

Hoffman, G., Rodriguez, F., Yang, M., & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2019). Assimilation and subversion on campus: A critical discourse analysis of students’ experiences of race and institutional resources. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 12 (3): 230-241.

Hakkola, L., & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2018). A critical exploration of diversity discourses in higher education: A focus on diversity in student affairs and admissions. In Michael B. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, 33 (pp. 417-468). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Gardner, Susan K., Hart, Jeni, Ng, Jennifer, Ropers-Huilman, R, Ward, Kelly, and Wolf-Wendel, Lisa. (2017). “Me-search”: Challenges and opportunities regarding subjectivity in knowledge construction. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 8 (2): 88-108

Ropers-Huilman, R, Winters, Kelly T., & Hakkola, Leah. (2016). Embodied minds: College women’s experience in and around the panopticon of higher education. NASPA Journal about Women in Higher Education, 9 (2): 115-132.

Locher, H. & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2015). Wearing you down: The influence of racial battle fatigue on academic freedom for faculty of color. In K. Fasching-Varner, K. A. Albert, R. W. Mitchell, & C. Allen (Eds.), Racial battle fatigue in higher education: Exposing the myth of post-racial America  (pp. 113-124). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Thomas-Card, T. & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2014). Heteronormativity fractured and fused: Exploring the college experiences of multiple marginalized LGBT students. In D. Mitchell (Ed.) Intersectionality in higher education: Theory, research, & praxis (pp. 78-87). New York: Peter Lang.

Enke, K. A. E., Winters, K. T., & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2013). Creating my own story: Catholic women’s college students narrating their lives. Journal of College Student Development, 54(5), 481-496.

Ropers-Huilman, R. (2013). Engaging whiteness in higher education. In L. M. Landreman (Ed.), The art of effective facilitation: Reflections from social justice educators (pp. 81-100). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Ropers-Huilman, R., Winters, K. T., & Enke, K. A. E. (2013). Discourses of whiteness: White students at Catholic women’s colleges (dis)engaging race. Journal of Higher Education, 84(1), 28-55.

Ropers-Huilman, R., & McCoy, D. (2011). Student change agents as citizens in contemporary universities: Achieving the potential of engagement. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 27(3). Retrieved from

Ropers-Huilman, R., & Winters, K. (2011). Feminist methodology in higher education. Journal of Higher Education, 82(6), 667-690.

Allan, E., Iverson, S., & Ropers-Huilman, R. (Eds.) (2010). Reconstructing policy in higher education: Feminist poststructural perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Ropers-Huilman, B., Carwile, L., & Barnett, K. (2005). Student activists’ characterizations of administrators in higher education: Perceptions of power in "the system." Review of Higher Education, 28(3), 295-312.

Ropers-Huilman, B. (Ed.). (2003). Gendered futures in higher education: Critical perspectives for change. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Ropers-Huilman, B. (1998). Feminist teaching in theory and practice: Situating power and knowledge in poststructural classrooms. New York: Teachers College.