To the College of Education and Human Development Community:
After guiding the college for what will be a total of nine years by the end of May 2022, I have decided to leave the Office of the Dean at the conclusion of the spring academic semester. Upon reflection, I find it difficult to fully comprehend that I have served continually in higher education leadership positions for the majority of the last two decades. This work has been rewarding, but also all-consuming.
As dean, I have given my heart, intellect, and soul to the college, and yet I know, once rejuvenated, I have so much more to offer in terms of my passion for research and practice focused on student college access policies, programs, and equitable outcomes. To this end, after enjoying a much-welcomed sabbatical, I will be engaged in the development of a major program of research focused on postsecondary access, inclusion, and success.
This program will build upon my prior research and scholarship on higher education as well as several impactful access and inclusion programs and partnerships that I have either initiated, funded, and/or helped develop in concert with dedicated colleagues at Temple. The program of research also represents a life-long commitment to social justice and true equality of educational opportunity for BIPOC, underrepresented and/or minoritized students. I am especially excited by the program’s potential to inform and possibly shape new access, success, and inclusion policies and practices at Temple and other postsecondary institutions, both in the U.S. and abroad.
The timing of my decision is not just right for me, it is also right institutionally, financially, and academically for the college. At Temple University and at the School District of Philadelphia, recent or impending changes in senior executive leadership furnish a rare opportunity for the college to collaboratively reset and strategically align itself to a new path going forward. The college is in a strong and balanced financial position, with a renovated, state-of-the-art facility on the verge of completion. The college is now academically ranked among the best of all public schools and colleges of education across the nation. Finally, our faculty and staff are diverse, talented, and replenished, as approximately a substantial portion of our colleagues have been hired during my 9-year deanship.
There will be plenty of time to share my heartfelt appreciation for the many individuals who I have had the honor to work alongside as dean, and who have diligently transformed the college to better support, empower and educate all our students. In the meantime, let me conclude by sharing a quote from former President Obama on his final day in office: “Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I am asking you to believe – not in my ability to create change, but in yours.” Let us together ensure that this change is focused, not on ourselves only, but also on the students, families and communities that bind our purpose and mission.
Gregory M. Anderson, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Higher Education