Michigan State University Provost Teresa K. Woodruff has recommended Jerlando F. L. Jackson to be the next dean of MSU’s College of Education, effective July 1. The recommendation is subject to approval by the MSU Board of Trustees.
Jackson has spent more than two decades on the UW–Madison campus and is currently chair of the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, where he concurrently holds the Rupple-Bascom Professorship of Education and the Vilas Distinguished Professorship of Higher Education. Jackson also is the director and chief research scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB).
“Although the news is bittersweet for us in the School of Education, congratulations to Jerlando Jackson for being recommended as the next dean of the College of Education at Michigan State,” says UW–Madison School of Education Dean Diana Hess. “His contributions across the UW–Madison campus, the leadership he has provided within our School and the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and his experience in directing the highly regarded Wei LAB make him an excellent fit for this new position. We look forward to seeing all the great things Dr. Jackson accomplishes.”
In his new position, Jackson will also hold the title of MSU Foundation Professor of Education.
“A prolific scholar and national leader in higher education, Dr. Jackson also brings with him an impressive history of garnering significant sponsored research,” Woodruff said in an MSU news release posted today. “His academic excellence and commitment to advancing the field of education will create momentum within and for our College of Education, and in support of broader university aspirations.”
Jackson’s research has included advancements on hiring practices, career mobility, workforce diversity and workplace discrimination, all of which have evolved into his focus on organizational disparities, a term he is credited with coining. Jackson has earned more than $13 million in grant and research funds over his career, and has produced more than 125 publications on his areas of expertise.
The Wei LAB focuses its efforts on designing, conducting, and disseminating research that informs policymakers, practitioners, and citizens on how to best promote equitable and inclusive learning and work environments in education in general — and higher education in particular.
“I had not imagined that I would ever transition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to another university,” says Jackson. “However, 25 years ago I dreamt of one day being a dean of education, and when the opportunity at Michigan State University came along, it was a perfect match and an opportunity to fulfill that dream.”
Jackson has also authored or co-edited six books, including “Measuring Glass Ceiling Effects: Opportunities and Challenges” and “Ethnic and Racial Administrative Diversity: Understanding Work Life Realities and Experiences in Higher Education.”
Over the course of his career, Jackson has established multiple groundbreaking initiatives, including: serving as the founding executive director of the Center for African American Research and Policy (CAARP) in 2005; working as the founding co-director of the Asa G. Hilliard III and Barbara A. Sizemore Research Course on African Americans and Education, held at the American Educational Research Association since 2007; founding (in 2010) and directing the Wei LAB; and becoming a co-founder of the International Colloquium on Black Males in Education in 2011. Earlier this year, Jackson was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Jackson also has a long history of service to the School of Education and university, including chairing the Search Committee in 2021 to help hire UW–Madison’s vice chancellor, deputy provost, and chief diversity officer.
“It is remarkable to reflect on how far the university has come, and the many ways it has changed and evolved, since my arrival as a visiting assistant professor and the first African American faculty member in the department in August 2000,” says Jackson. “One of the aspects I am most proud of, both personally and as a department and university, is all the ways that we have advanced opportunities for students and staff of diverse and different backgrounds.”
To learn more about Jackson and his new role, check out this Michigan State University news release.