Tom James is TC's New Provost
- A Life in Classrooms
More information about "A Life in Classrooms: Philip W. Jackson and the Practice of Education"
From: A Life in Classrooms: Philip W. Jackson and the Practice of Education Edited by David T. Hansen, Mary Erina Driscoll, and Rene V. Arcilla. Â© 2007 Teachers College, Columbia University.
After a months-long national search for a new academic dean, Teachers College has named Thomas James -- currently Dean of the School of Education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- as its new Provost, with the accompanying titles of Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
During James' four years at UNC Chapel Hill, the
James, who will teach in TC's department of Arts and Humanities, is the author of Exile Within: the Schooling of Japanese Americans 1942-45, viewed as a seminal text on internment of Japanese-American children during World War II. He also has written on law and the history of education, and on educational governance and control.
"Among a group of truly superb candidates, Tom James has the best of all backgrounds -- particularly in terms of his prior experience in
James also drew praise from Robert Shelton, former Provost at UNC Chapel Hill and now President of the
"This is a wonderful appointment for Teachers College,"
And Bernadette Gray-Little, current Provost at UNC Chapel Hill, called James "a dynamic leader who reinvigorated the School, and who gave the faculty a new vision for how they may serve the state and the national education community."
TC's President Fuhrman said that the College had re-titled James' new position as "Provost" to signal "the priority and importance we're giving to our academic side of the house." She praised the search process that resulted in James' hiring, including the series of town meetings at which James and two other finalists presented themselves to TC faculty, students and staff.
"We saw candid, forthright presentations by the three excellent candidates, who also fielded -- at times courageously -- questions about everything from their academic backgrounds to how they would promote ethnic and racial diversity in faculty searches."
James, who will start in his new job on July 1, said he is "deeply delighted" by his appointment.
"I'm looking forward to working with the faculty and the entire community of Teachers College," he said. "TC is a great institution and even greater things lie ahead. I am also greatly honored to be able to work with Susan Fuhrman in her role as President of the College. I believe she is the ideal person to lead TC into the future."
In his appearance at the TC town meetings, James said he envisioned TC becoming even more active in fostering educational improvement.
"I think of when Teachers College started, back in the great migration at the end of the 19th century, with the tenement houses and the economic upheavals, and how much work there was to do. I feel that we're again at a beginning.
As a child, James also attended the famous
"We had a garden nearby on campus. I carried my hoe and worked the soil with my classmates. We cooked and sawed, painted and braided, worked in small groups as well as one on one with our teacher and other adults, then circled all together for recitation. With the help of our German teacher -- it seemed hilarious to us that Herr Heine had no hair -- we composed letters describing our activities to invisible pals across the ocean. We took field trips to the lumberyard and the
The full memoir by James can be read here.previous page