Staff Directory

Dean Marvin Lynn

Marvin Lynn

  • School of Education & Human Development


Mailing Address:
  • CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Denver, CO 80204

Dr. Marvin Lynn, Dean of the School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) at the University of Colorado Denver, has enjoyed a robust career as a teacher, equity scholar, public university administrator, and artist. SEHD is a statewide and national leader for education quality, access and equity across the education and human development lifespan. It is the largest graduate school of its kind in Colorado and is highly regarded for its high quality academic programs that demonstrate evidence of a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Lynn earned his bachelor’s in Elementary Education from DePaul University in Chicago and a master’s in Curriculum & Teaching from Teachers College-Columbia University. He started his career as an elementary teacher in New York City Public Schools and Chicago Public Schools. He went on to earn his PhD in Race and Ethnic Studies in Education from University of California, Los Angeles. Before his arrival at CU Denver in June of 2022, he served as dean and professor of education at Portland State University and Indiana University South Bend.

Dean Lynn is one of the most highly cited researchers in the nation around educational equity. He is particularly well-regarded for his scholarship on Critical Race Theory in education. His research focuses on race, education, the work and lives of Black male educators, and best practices for advancing teacher diversity in the United States. Dr. Lynn is quoted regularly in local, national and international news stories. He is the lead editor of The Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education which features chapters by the most prolific scholars in the fields of education and the law. The second edition of the handbook was recently published with Routledge Press. His research has been recognized by the American Educational Research Association, the Critical Race Studies in Education Association, and the University of the Free State in South Africa. 

Currently, he serves as a board member of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate (CPED), and the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP). 

Dr. Lynn is also an accomplished singer—performing in a variety of genres including classical and gospel. He has performed with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis Opera Company, the Soul Children of Chicago, Rev. Clay Evans, the Fellowship Baptist Church, and others. He is the founder of the South Shore Opera Company of Chicago where he has also performed regularly.

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • PhD UCLA, Social Sciences & Education June 2001
    Dissertation: “Portraits in Black: Storying the Lives and Pedagogies of Black Men Educators”
    Committee: Dr. Daniel Solórzano (chair), Devon Carbado (J.D.), & Dr. Don Nakanishi
  • MA Teachers College, Columbia University, Curriculum & Teaching May 1996
    Thesis: “Choosing your battles: Progressive young teachers of color and their experiences in urban schools”
    Advisors: Dr. Joseph Grannis & Dr. Paula Hajar
  • BS DePaul University, Elementary Education (Music Minor) June 1993
    Illinois Teaching License in Elementary Education, Elementary Language Arts, and Music (K-12)


2013 - Special Award: In Recognition of Contributions to the Advancement of Critical Race Theory in Education Globally and in South Africa
Awarded to scholars who contribute to developing “sustainable learning environments.”
University of the Free State – Bloemfontein, South Africa

2012 - AACTE Certificate of Distinguished Service
Award given to volunteers who have provided outstanding service and leadership to the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

2012 - Derrick Bell Legacy Award for Influential Scholarship and Enduring Commitment to Social Justice
Award given to scholars whose work has had a major impact on the field of Critical Race Studies in Education. 

2011 - AERA Award for Interdisciplinary Analysis
Award given by the Critical Examination of Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender in Education Special Interest Group at the American Educational Research Association to scholars whose research draws on multiple academic disciplines to address critical issues in the field of education.

2000 - New England Board of Higher Education Dissertation Fellowship

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