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James D. Anderson

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.

Educational Background

  • 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

Key Professional Appointments

  • Professor, History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990-present
  • Professor, Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987-present
  • Assistant, Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1974-1987

Activities & Honors

  • Membership, National Academy of Education, 2008-present
  • Appointed Guest Honorable Professor, Yunnan University, 1998-1999
  • Appointed Honorary Professor, Chongquing, P. R. China, Southwest China Normal University, 1998-1999
  • Spencer Mentor Award, The Spencer Foundation, 1998-1999
  • Distinguished Career Teaching Award, College of Education, 1994
  • President, History of Education Society, 1992-1993

Research Statement

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.

Select Publications

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

In The News

Dr. James Anderson weighs in on Supreme Court ruling and reflects on unfulfilled promise of Brown v. Board of Education

May 22, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Michigan law on April 22 that banned the use of race as a factor in college admissions. The ruling came approximately a month ahead of the 60th anniversary (May 17) of the court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, which declared separate public schools for black students and white students unconstitutional. Read more...

James D. Anderson to deliver prestigious AERA 2014 Brown Lecture in October

Apr. 17, 2014

James D. Anderson, the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutsgell Professor of Education and the Head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, has been selected by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to present the upcoming Brown Lecture in Education Research. The announcement was made at the AERA annual meeting which recently concluded in Philadelphia. Read more...

Professor James Anderson elected to Center for Advanced Study at Illinois

Aug. 8, 2013

James Anderson, department head and Gutgsell Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, has been elected a Professor in the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) at the University of Illinois. The appointment was approved by the University's Board of Trustees in late July, and the position will become effective August 16. Read more...