Scott Finnie, PhD

Program Director/Senior Faculty
Photo of Scott Finnie, PhD


  • COVID-19 Focus: Cultural Impact
  • American and African American History
  • Leadership Studies
  • U.S. Race Relations
  • U.S. Civil Rights
  • Affirmative Action
  • Cultural Diversity Training


Scott Finnie, PhD, was raised in California’s Bay Area and moved to Spokane in 1975 on a basketball scholarship at Gonzaga University. At Gonzaga, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in criminal justice. In 1992, he earned a master’s degree in American history from Eastern Washington University. He later returned to Gonzaga for doctoral studies, earning a doctorate in leadership studies in 2000. His dissertation was titled, “The Impact of the Removal of Affirmative Action Upon the Freshmen Class at the University of Washington – Implications of a Ten-Year Quantitative Study.”

Finnie has been a faculty member of EWU’s Africana Education Program (AEP) and Department of History since 1992. He currently serves as the department’s senior faculty member, its director of Africana Studies, and the executive director of its race and cultural studies program.

The recipient of more than 20 awards for excellence in teaching, leadership, civil rights and mentoring, Finnie has been invited to make over 50 presentations in the past fifteen years at cities across the globe, among them Addis Ababa, Cairo, Accra, London, Oxford, Leipzig, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Glasgow, Asuncion (Paraguay), Bangalore (India), Manilla, Taipei, Brisbane, Sao Paulo, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Memphis, Anaheim, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Honolulu, Seattle, Portland, Houston, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.). He is also a prominent speaker in the Inland Northwest, addressing such themes as civil rights, affirmative action, servant leadership, diversity and cross-cultural communication, the American criminal justice system and faculty hiring in higher education.

Finnie’s research has been published in numerous academic journals, including The National Social Science Journal, The Inland Northwest Health Services Training Manual, Investigating Diversity: Race, Ethnicity and Beyond, The Oxford Round Table Journal, The Journal of Intercultural Disciplines, Ethnic Studies Review, The Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly and The International Journal of Servant Leadership.

Finnie is also the owner of a diversity consultant business, Engaging Team Concepts, that has served employers and institutions throughout the Inland Northwest for the past 17 years. As part of his consultancy, he has conducted customized trainings, workshops, symposiums, retreats, practicums and guest presentations in areas involving cultural competency, intercultural communication, diversity hiring, teamwork dynamics, servant leadership, conflict resolution, civil rights history, affirmative action and active listening. Clients have included the Spokane, Cheney and EWU police departments; Spokane County Juvenile Courts; Spokane city hall; Inland Northwest Health Services; Daystar Youth Rehabilitation; Excelsior Youth Center; Spokane Community College; and Eastern Washington, Gonzaga and Whitworth Universities.

Most recently, Finnie has co-authored a new book, Unlocking the Master Narrative: History and Intercultural Communication, and was appointed a commissioner for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the higher education accrediting body for over 160 institutions throughout the seven states of the region.

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