July 01, 2008

Noted educator John E. King dies at age 94

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- John E. King, retired professor and chairman of what formerly was known as the higher education department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, passed away Sunday, June 28, in West Columbia, S.C. He was 94.

King came to the SIUC campus in 1967 as a visiting professor. He served as professor and chair of educational administration and foundations from 1968 to 1970, before becoming chair of the higher education department in 1970. He retired in 1983.

Before coming to SIUC, King served as president of Emporia (Kan.) State University from 1953 to 1966. While serving as president of the University of Wyoming from 1966 to 1967, King also served as president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. For two years before he went to Emporia he was provost at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Widely recognized as an expert in teacher education and higher education governance, King also was a pioneer in making higher education accessible to students with physical disabilities. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the National Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Vocational Rehabilitation. King served on the committee through 1970. In addition, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the National Committee on Employment of the Handicapped in 1964.

During his tenure as chair of SIUC’s higher education department, King chaired or served on approximately 200 master’s or doctoral committees.

Interim Chancellor Samuel Goldman, who knew King, said, “He was a highly respected educator who leaves a very rich legacy, including many who learned from him the meaning of commitment to teaching and learning.”

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Glennie, as well as daughters Ann Reynolds of Key West, Fla., and Rebecca Stevens of White Oak Creek, Tenn.