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Arthur Levine Announces This Will Be His Final Year as Teachers College President

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Arthur Levine

President Arthur Levine

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Education school leader has tripled endowment, strengthened academic departments, and focused on educational equity during 12--year run

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Arthur E. Levine, President of Teachers College, Columbia University, has announced that he will step down as leader of the nation's largest graduate school of education on July 1, 2006.

Levine has guided the College since 1994, spearheading a period of major growth -- including the largest and most successful capital campaign ever conducted by a school of education; the launch of a new mission, focused on closing the nation's gap in educational equity; a large--scale renovation of TC's physical campus; reorganization of its academic departments; and the building of its faculty and Board of Trustees. (Click here for a detailed timeline of accomplishments during Levine’s presidency at Teachers College.)

"I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity I've had to lead an institution with the rich history, proud reputation and sterling record of accomplishment of Teachers College, and to work with our extraordinary faculty, staff, trustees and alumni," said Levine, who will retain the title of Professor of Education. "I consider myself particularly fortunate to have presided at a time when the College has committed itself to leading a crusade to combat the "achievement gap.'"  

Levine added that he "will remain fully engaged as President, with all my energy and enthusiasm," until the day he steps down. He set a full agenda for the year at his State of the College address, including:

  • Implementation of The Campaign for Educational Equity
  • Implementation of the College's strategic plan
  • Physical plant improvement
  • Studies of benefits space and accreditation
  • Long--range financial planning
  • Building community and diversity at TC

"I believe Teachers College is strong, with experienced and capable leaders in every area of the college," Levine said. "We also have created a forward--looking plan and built momentum for the College to play an even more prominent role in advancing a new era of school improvement focused on equity and quality."

John C. Hyland and William Rueckert, co--chairs of TC's Board of Trustees, said that the College will immediately begin a nationwide search for candidates to succeed Levine. Both said that finding a leader of Levine's caliber will be a significant challenge.

"We are greatly saddened at the prospect of losing Arthur Levine -- this is truly the end of an era at Teachers College," said John C. Hyland, co--chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees.  "At the same time, we are tremendously grateful to Arthur for all that he has accomplished, especially for his visionary work in positioning the College for even greater success and relevance in the future. Thanks to his unique grasp of the issues facing our nation’s schools, I believe that Teachers College will be a guiding force in education for many, many years to come."

"There is only one Arthur Levine," said William Rueckert, the Board’s other co--chair. "We've been lucky enough to have him for over a decade, but his impact -- both here and on education schools in general -- will be felt for far longer."  

Hyland and Rueckert both affirmed that one of the major criteria in selecting a new president will be that person's expertise in, and commitment to, the area of educational equity.

"Perhaps Arthur's greatest legacy to the College has been to explicitly focus us on educational equity, and we expect that focus to guide us well into the future," Hyland said.

For his part, Levine said that his decision to step down as president will not mark the end of his association with Teachers College.

"My immediate agenda is to complete my research on schools of education in the United States, to translate the findings of my research into action, and then return to Teachers College to teach" he said.  

In March 2005, Levine published the first installment in a four--part report on the state of education programs in the United States, focused on the preparation of principals and superintendents. In December, he will release the second installment, which will focus on the preparation of teachers.

Both Rueckert and Hyland cited the reports as an example of the kind of broad perspective and grasp of education issues they will look for in Teachers College's next president.

"It has been tremendously valuable for the President of one of the nation’s top education schools to speak out on these issues," Rueckert said. "Regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions -- and certainly not everyone has -- Arthur is rendering an enormous service to the field by identifying critical issues, outlining a range of potential solutions for grappling with them, and -- perhaps most important of all -- introducing new criteria for judging the success and relevance of schools of education."

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