Dear Education Faculty, Staff, and Students,
For most of the 21st century, the College of Education has been a renowned leader in the realm of digital learning—thanks to our expertise in applied research in educational technology. Looking back today, I see how our work in these areas has boldly prepared us for the challenges now being faced in our current landscape. We should all take a great deal of pride in the priority, as a College community, of being at the forefront of educational innovation and new pedagogy.
Everyone in our community has felt disruption in our daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent national unrest. In the face of many challenges, our faculty, staff, and students continue to rise to the occasion and contribute innovative, positive solutions—staying focused on our College's mission of research, teaching, and service. This is the resiliency we’re all looking for to move education forward.
Even though we are apart, the College ended the semester with a big celebration. Our 2020 Virtual Convocation event looked different than usual, but still honored our exceptional graduates. I hope you will take a few moments to listen to this year’s Outstanding Student Medal recipients' messages as we recognized the Class of 2020.
While things remain uncertain as we navigate what the next year of teaching and learning will look like, I know that Education at Illinois will be nimble and meet challenges head on, just as we have done throughout our history.
In closing, I want to share words Chancellor Jones shared with our community earlier this week. He was reflecting on the events that have taken place in Minneapolis and so many other cities across the nation.
“The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a community committed to the scholarship, engagement, equity, inclusion, and leadership that dismantles systems that utilize power, privilege, and violence to disenfranchise, diminish, and destroy.”
My hope is that now more than ever, the Education at Illinois community will work to meet these ideals and be at the leading edge of the change needed in our world today.
Yours in Orange and Blue,
James D. Anderson
Dean and Gutgsell Professor
College of Education