Kempf-Leonard has been dean of SIU-Carbondale’s College of Liberal Arts since 2011. She also is professor and was department chair of criminology and criminal justice, and she holds appointments in sociology and in the women, gender and sexuality studies program.
Previously, she held faculty appointments at the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Missouri-St. Louis and Kent State University.
She has a doctorate in social systems sciences: criminology and criminal law from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Kempf-Leonard has received two dozen grants and contracts and produced more than 120 publications, including books, volumes, journals and presentations. She has held membership in the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Media frequently seek her out for expert commentary or testimony related to crime and the criminal justice system.
“I’m very excited to be joining UofL,” Kempf-Leonard said. “The university’s goals align with those I value in higher education so it seems like a terrific fit to me. It will be good to be part of a College of Arts and Sciences again. I admire so many of the faculty in the college and look forward to helping support the research and creative activities and great teaching. I enjoyed meeting several faculty, staff and students and look forward to getting to know more people soon.”
“Dr. Kempf-Leonard rose to the top of a very impressive field of candidates,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. “She is well regarded in the academic community, and she received overwhelming support from the campus groups she met during the interview process. Her experience as a dean, along with her expertise in several fields of study, will be important in working with the College of Arts and Sciences, which is the heart and soul of the academy. We look forward to her arrival.”