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Aug. 3, 2022

Podcast: New MSU College of Education dean seeks to 'anchor strengths and optimize opportunities'


Michigan State University's renowned College of Education has a new leader. It's Jerlando F. L. Jackson, who is also an MSU Foundation Professor of Education.

Jackson describes his background and talks about what attracted him to MSU.

“Michigan State really is the prototype for what land grants were built on, and to be at the epicenter for the commitment to the roles and functions that a state should give to its citizens from a post-secondary education opportunity just seemed very opportune. I was also attracted to the hardworking spirit of Michigan State. It’s in the DNA. And MSU works hard on access to its excellence.”

Jackson describes some of the excellent and highly ranked programs and curricula in the College of Education at MSU - from kinesiology to teacher education and from K-12 policy to foci on STEM education and the global nature of education. And he talks about his own research interests in hiring practices in higher education that have “looked at what we think of as organizational disparities broadly in the sense that inherently most organizations, not all, do find themselves to have consistent sets of disparities that groups have been subjected to across decades.”

Dean Jackson talks about the strategic planning going on at the college that is “taking stock of where we are. Let’s anchor the important pieces and optimize opportunities to reinforce the other emerging areas in our college. And then dream. Are there spaces where we can be first that will prepare this college for the next 50 years or more?”

Jackson shares some thoughts on challenges and opportunities ahead around issues like handling race issues in schools to finding the right hybrid arrangements for remote learning.

“We must be able to show parents and the community that we’re addressing these issues. We have amazing faculty, staff, and students in the college. We attract students from a full spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. MSU’s College of Education is a significant crown jewel that deserves the recognition and support it has warranted locally and across the state, nation, and globe. We're thinking very responsibly about the future with a keen eye toward the beneficiaries being our graduates, and the state, and the localities that count on the College of Education to be a strong partner with them.”

MSU Today airs Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 5 a.m. on WKAR News/Talk and Sundays at 8 p.m. on 760 WJR. Find “MSU Today with Russ White” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your shows.

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MSU Today with Russ White