Six new members join Deans for Impact

From our inception in 2015, Deans for Impact has faced a self-imposed problem. We have deliberately chosen to limit our core membership to no more than 30 leaders of educator-preparation programs at any one time. We adopted this limit to ensure we could make decisions and take actions in (relatively) nimble fashion.

And yet Deans for Impact also believes in being diverse by design. By this we mean that our members should reflect the varied programs that prepare teachers throughout this country and the diverse communities that they serve. This is not easy to do, given our limited size, and we know we have room for improvement. But we are committed to this diversity and we will continue to take deliberate steps to build an inclusive community within our membership.

It’s with that goal in mind that we are thrilled to announce today our six newest members:

  • Anthony Graham, Dean of the College of Education at North Carolina A&T State University
  • Michael Hillis, Dean of the Graduate School of Education at California Lutheran University
  • Andrea Kent, Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies at University of South Alabama
  • Tom Philion, Dean of the College of Education at Roosevelt University
  • Ray Reutzel, Dean of the College of Education at University of Wyoming
  • Don Schillinger, Dean of College of Education at Louisiana Tech University

The programs our newest members lead are diverse across multiple dimensions. Consider that Dean Graham leads the teacher-education program at North Carolina A&T, the largest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the nation, while Dean Reutzel leads the only college of education in the entire state of Wyoming. Dean Schillinger leads a program that primarily serves rural Louisiana, while Dean Philion leads a program located in the heart of urban Chicago. And we haven’t forgotten about the coasts: Dean Kent leads a program serving the Gulf Coast region while Dean Hillis leads a religious-affiliated college of education in California.

Our newest members bring an additional form of diversity to Deans for Impact as well. Last year, we started a fellowship program for new deans designed to build leadership capacity. All six of our new members are graduates of this program. We’ve thus had the opportunity to work with these leaders over the past year, and see firsthand their commitment to transforming educator preparation. We know they will bring fresh perspective into the Deans for Impact membership on what it takes to drive change.

Just as importantly, we hope other leaders of educator-preparation program will see this fellowship program as an opportunity to connect with Deans for Impact. To put it plainly, we are not interested in elitism – in fact, we think this is one of the major reasons that previous efforts to transform educator preparation have stumbled. Our fellowship program is a direct way for new leaders to engage in the collective work we are undertaking.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll share more about our new members and why they’re excited to transform educator preparation as part of Deans for Impact. For now, please join us in welcoming them!

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