About Dr. Alane Shanks

Dr. Alane K. Shanks began Renga Consulting in 2014.  Through Renga, she leads diversity, equity and inclusion college campus assessments using the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education.  She developed a process called  “Project Inclusion” to assess the readiness of the institution for change, and to serve as the backbone/support of the campus directed self-assessment effort.  As a Visiting Scholar at NERCHE, Dr. Shanks worked with NERCHE colleagues to write a successful grant and received funding from the Balfour Foundation to pilot Project Inclusion in four New Hampshire campuses.  Dr. Shanks is now leading Project Inclusion efforts at several Massachusetts colleges. As with her individual coaching, Dr. Shanks helps institutions through immediate crises but also provides training to sustain and, if appropriate, institutionalize the change.  Dr. Shanks partners with Jenene Cook (see bio on Rengaconsulting.com) on this work.

For other higher education and not-for-profit clients, Dr. Shanks serves as a program evaluator for two federally funded Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Success Initiatives (AANAPISI) grants.  She also provides organization-wide strategic planning, facilitates the realignment of resources to strengthen institutions, builds strong and effective management and working teams, matching job duties to the overall mission of the organization, improving campus climate, and leading organizations through significant cultural change. In this capacity, Dr. Shanks has worked with a number of high school-to-college programs and first generation college goer success initiatives.

Coaching clients in all stages of career and life changing events, Dr. Shanks specializes in faculty transitions from academic to administrative positions, faculty moving up the academic ladder, and also works with people who are in career or life transitions by choice, circumstance, or because of an industry lay-off.  She has helped many achieve their professional and personal goals through positive reinforcement and providing exercises for slow, but steady change management.

Dr. Shanks has held senior leadership positions in private and public institutions of higher education for more than 30 years, serving as Associate Dean of Educational Administration and Finance at Harvard Medical School, Vice President/CFO at Roxbury Community College, and President of Pine Manor College. She has taught graduate-level courses in higher education administration and finance as well as strategies for systemic change.  Her dissertation was a study of “Thirty Years of Affirmative Action at Harvard Medical School:  A Mixed Method Program Evaluation.”  Her continuing research focuses on assessing diversity, equity and inclusion on college campuses to provide a sense of belonging for all students, faculty and staff.  She also worked on a multi-year student of best practices for recruiting, retaining, and retaining faculty of color that was funded by Yale School of Public Health and the Connecticut Health Foundation resulting in a revision of the policies and procedure handbook, creating symmetry across divisions and an increase in diversity hires.

Dr. Shanks has a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from UMass Boston, a Masters in Management (MBA for non-profits) from the Heller School at Brandeis University, and a B.A. in English Literature from University of California Santa Barbara.