Comparative American Studies
Department Chair:
Wendy Kozol, Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-5290
Fax: (440) 775-8644

King 141
10 N. Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1095

Eric Estes

Eric Estes

Vice President and Dean of Students

Contact Information


Wilder Hall 105
(440) 775-8462

Eric Estes

Eric Estes

Eric Estes

Eric Estes is vice president and dean of students at Oberlin College. He joined the Oberlin community in 2004 as an associate dean of students and director of the Multicultural Resource Center. In 2009, his position was restructured to encompass additional responsibilities related to curricular and faculty diversity and inclusion initiatives when he also became an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is an assistant professor in comparative American studies and a faculty affiliate of the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. 

Prior to Oberlin, Estes held faculty and administrative positions at Duke and Syracuse Universities. While on faculty at Duke, he chaired a presidential task force on LGBT matters, served on a presidential commission focused on the status of women, and worked as a faculty affiliate of the Center for LGBT Life. At Syracuse, he worked on professional development programs for graduate student and junior faculty focused on undergraduate teaching.

He was a Fulbright doctoral fellow to Germany, and has received grants from the Mellon and Ebert foundations, GHI, and DAAD. At Syracuse, Duke, and Oberlin, he has taught classes on modern Germany and the Holocaust, athletics and U.S. culture, and connections between Oberlin’s early missionary history in China and Asian American student activism at the college. He has given invited talks at schools like Hamilton, Holy Cross, and Vassar, and internationally at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanxi Agricultural University, and United International College in China. He also has presented nationally at the Council of Independent Colleges CAOs and CSAOs Conference, AAC&U, Creating Change, ACPA, and NASPA conferences.

Estes earned a MA and PhD in history as well as a CAS in women’s studies at Syracuse University, and a BA in history at Trinity College. Beyond Oberlin, he is a member of the Shansi board of trustees and the executive committee of Trinity College’s National Alumni Association. 

He was recently selected chair-elect of the steering board for the Consortium on High Achievement and Success, the oldest and largest national organization dedicated to the academic success of students of color at institutions dedicated to liberal arts education.

Estes oversees Oberlin’s Division of Student Life that supports students by creating more seamless connections between curricular and cocurricular experiences, advising and mentoring focused on the development of life skills and inter/personal growth, and building and bridging intellectual and personal communities.

The Division of Student Life includes 16 departments and offices as well as important resources such as class deans, student conduct system, first- and second-year experience, honor system, and the emergency on-call system.