Literacy expert new leader of College of Education

Alfred Tatum

Alfred Tatum, dean of the UIC College of Education.

Alfred W. Tatum, interim dean of the College of Education, was named dean, subject to approval at the May 15 meeting of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Tatum, professor of curriculum and instruction, has been interim dean since August.

An expert on the literacy development of African American boys, Tatum developed four major reading and writing programs used by millions of students throughout the country.

He has written more than 50 publications on the topic, including three books. He recently produced policy reports and solution briefs for Jobs for the Future and the Council of Great City Schools.

“Alfred Tatum’s expertise as an educator and his national reputation for advancing literacy make him the ideal leader for a college that is committed to urban public education,” said Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.

Tatum has served for 10 years on the national reading committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He is a member of the board of directors of the country’s two major literacy organizations, the International Reading Association and the Literacy Research Association.

“I am extremely energized by this appointment. I am also humbled by the challenges that lie ahead. How we respond to these challenges will dictate our relevance as a college of meaningful consequence for the students and communities we serve,” Tatum said.

As interim dean, Tatum established an office for research and two research clusters and appointed the college’s first associate dean for research. Other priorities include community engagement, recruitment and retention, development and alumni relations.

Tatum spoke at the National Summit on Educational Excellence and Opportunity for African American Males held last August by the U.S. Department of Education. The summit was part of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

Before becoming interim dean, Tatum chaired the college’s department of curriculum and instruction. He was director of the UIC Reading Clinic and coordinator of the doctoral program in literacy, language, and culture.

Tatum came to UIC in 2007 after serving on the faculties of Northern Illinois University, the University of Maryland and Buffalo State College. He was senior research associate for North Central Regional Education Lab.


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