James D. Anderson is the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutsgell Professor of Education; the Head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership; the Executive Associate Dean for the College of Education and affiliate Professor of History. His scholarship focuses broadly on the history of U.S. education, with specializations in the history of African American education in the South, the history of higher education desegregation, the history of public school desegregation, and the history of African American school achievement in the 20th century. His book, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935, won the American Educational Research Association outstanding book award in 1990. He is senior editor of the History of Education Quarterly. Anderson has served as an expert witness in a series of federal desegregation and affirmative action cases, including Jenkins v. Missouri, Knight v. Alabama, Ayers v. Mississippi, Gratz v. Bollinger, and Grutter v. Bollinger. He served as an adviser for and participant in the PBS documentaries School: The Story of American Public Education (2001), The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (2002) and Forgotten Genius: The Percy Julian Story. He was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2008. In 2012, he was selected as a Fellow for Outstanding Research by the American Educational Research Association and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. In 2013, he was selected Center for Advanced Study Professor of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois.

Key Professional Appointments

ProfessorHistory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990 - present

ProfessorEducational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987 - present

Assistant, Associate ProfessorEducational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1974 - 1987


Ph.D., History of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1973

M.Ed., History and Social Studies Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1969

B.A., Sociology, Stillman College, 1966

Awards, Honors, Associations

Appointed Honorary ProfessorChongquingP. R. ChinaSouthwest China Normal University, 1998 - 1999

Spencer Mentor AwardThe Spencer Foundation, 1998 - 1999

MembershipNational Academy of Education, 2008 - present

Appointed Guest Honorable ProfessorYunnan University, 1998 - 1999

Distinguished Career Teaching AwardCollege of Education, 1994 - 1994

Research & Service

My past research has focused on the history of African American education in the South from 1860-1935, the history of higher education desegregation in southern states, the history of public school desegregation, institutional racism, and the representation of Blacks in secondary school history textbooks.

My current research projects include the history of African American public higher education and the development of African American school achievement in the twentieth century.


Anderson, J. (1997) Philanthropy, the state and the development of Historically Black Public Colleges: The case of Mississippi. Minerva, A Review of Science Learning and Policy 35 (3), 295-309

Anderson, J. (1995) Literacy and education in the African American experience. Literacy among African-American youth,. Hampton Press: Cresskill, NJ

Anderson, J. (1993) Race, meritocracy, and the American academy during the immediate post World War II era History of Education Quarterly 33 (2), 151-175

Anderson, J. (1990) Black Rural Communities and the Struggle for Education During the Age of Booker T. Washington, 1877-1915 Peabody Journal of Education 67 (4), 46-62

Anderson, J. (1988) The education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935.. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Press: Chapel Hill, NC

Parker, L., Hood, S., & Anderson, J.. Racial desegregation in higher education.. Teachers College Press: New York


PresidentHistory of Education Society, 1992 - 1993


Race and Cultural Diversity Study of race and cultural diversity from Colonial era to present; the evolution of racial ideology in an ethnically heterogeneous society; the impact of race on the structures and operations of fundamental social institutions; the role of race in contemporary politics and popular culture. Course Information: Same as AAS 310, AFRO 310, and LLS 310. Prerequisite: Completion of campus Composition I general education requirement.

Foundation of Higher Edu Examination of the development of American higher education, including the evolution of its forms, purposes, practices, leadership, and constituents.

Readings in Educational Policy Open only to persons who have been admitted for doctoral study in the Department of Educational Organization and Leadership. Course Information: Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Readings in Educational Policy Seminar in educational policy studies; sections offered in the following fields: (a) history of education; (b) philosophy of education; (c) comparative education; (d) social foundations of education; (e) philosophy of educational research; and (f) historical methods in education. Course Information: May be repeated. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

James D. Anderson

Head and Gutgsell Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



357 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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