July 10, 2007

Teitelbaum appointed as new education dean

by K.C. Jaehnig


Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Kenneth Teitelbaum, chair of the Department of Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies at Kent State University in Ohio, will take over as dean of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale College of Education and Human Services.

His appointment, which requires ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees, becomes effective Aug. 1. He will replace Patricia B. Elmore, who has served as interim dean for the last two years.

"I was impressed with his ability to understand the good things as well as the problems that exist in that college, which is a very diverse one," Don S. Rice, SIUC interim provost, said.

"He could see collaborations and synergies that don’t now exist as well as resources that could be used in different ways. He also sees what the college needs and doesn’t currently have available."

As chair at Kent State, Teitelbaum oversaw personnel review, program development, budgetary management and other administrative areas for his department and its 53 full-time campus and nine regional campus faculty members. The department enrolls some 1,200 undergraduates and 600 graduate students, making it one of the university’s largest departments. Undergraduate programs focus on early and middle childhood education and secondary education. Graduate and specialist programs include curriculum and instruction, and educational administration. The department houses various funded centers, projects and journals as well.

Teitelbaum’s administrative experience also includes direction of Binghamton University’s Division of Education and coordination of its doctoral program in educational theory and practice. In addition, he coordinated the Urban Teacher Preparation Program at Syracuse University.

Research and teaching interests center on school knowledge in current and historical contexts, critical reflection in teacher education and teachers’ work, and school reform as it relates to democracy, social justice and diversity. Teitelbaum is the author of the book, "Schooling for ‘Good Rebels:’ Socialist Education for Children in the United States, 1900-1920," published in 1993 by Temple University Press and reissued in paperback by the Teachers College Press as "Schooling for ‘Good Rebels:’ Socialism, American Education and the Search for Radical Curriculum" in 1995.

Teitelbaum said he plans to work with the college faculty, staff and students both to foster the sort of community that members find "intellectually stimulating, socially meaningful and personally fulfilling" and to enhance its "quality of life" with increased financial support for tuition, research, outreach, program development, facilities, materials and technology.

He also wants to build on existing relationships within the college as well as those between the college and other campus units, public schools, community colleges, social service agencies and other groups. In addition, he would like to see the college join both the state and national debate on critical issues related to its varied specialties and on broader educational and social trends.

Teitlebaum hopes to initiate a process of self-evaluation, where college members could assess what the college does well and where it could improve.

"The challenges directed at a college like ours are considerable, involving federal agencies, state legislators, media pundits and the taxpaying public in general," he said.

"We would do well, I think, to take such questioning seriously, to accept and seek to address those criticisms that are justified and to confront and dispel those myths about what we do that serve to place us in an unfairly negative light."

Teitelbaum’s diverse experience and pleasant demeanor should make him an excellent administrator, Rice said.

"He finds it easy to talk to people, but more important, he’s able to listen," Rice said.

"I think he’s someone the college faculty and staff can respect, someone who can lead by example."

Teitelbaum earned his bachelor’s in 1971 from New York University, his master’s in 1974 from Cornell University in New York and his doctorate in 1985 at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.