College of Education

About Us Admissions & Academics Research & Engagement Departments & Faculty Student Resources

James D. Anderson

Profile Picture for James D. Anderson

Dean and Gutgsell Professor, Dean's Office


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

Update Your Profile Refresh Your Profile View Experts Profile

‹  Back to Results

James D. Anderson


James D. Anderson is dean of the College of Education, the Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor of Education, and affiliate professor of History, African American Studies, and Law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

In 2021, Anderson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation. He was sworn into the Board of Trustees at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and inducted into the Stillman College Educator Hall of Fame—both in 2020.

Additionally, the AERA awarded him a Presidential Citation in 2020, its highest award. In 2012, Anderson was selected as a Fellow for Outstanding Research by the AERA and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Anderson was also elected to the National Academy of Education in 2008.

His scholarship focuses broadly on the history of U.S. education, with a subfield on the history of African American education. Anderson’s seminal book, The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935, won the American Educational Research Association outstanding book award in 1990.

From 2006 to 2016, Anderson served as senior editor of the History of Education Quarterly. In 2016, he was awarded AERA’s Palmer O. Johnson Award for best article. 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), Forgotten Genius: The Percy Julian Story (2007) and Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities (2018).

Among numerous honors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Anderson was awarded the IMPACT award from the Bruce D. Nesbitt African American Cultural Center at the University of Illinois in 2019. In 2013, he was selected a Center for Advanced Study Professor of Education for the campus.

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


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 Professor, Chongquing, P. R. China, Southwest China Normal University, 1998 - 1999

Membership, National Academy of Education, 2008 - present

Appointed Guest Honorable Professor, Yunnan University, 1998 - 1999

Spencer Mentor Award, The Spencer Foundation, 1998 - 1999

Distinguished Career Teaching Award, College 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 ( pp. 19-37). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

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 Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Press.

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

Dixson, A., Ladson-Billings, G., Trent, W., Suarez, C., & Anderson, J. Condition or Process? Researching Race in Education. Washington, DC, United States: American Education Research Association.


President, History of Education Society, 1992 - 1993


Race and Cultural Diversity (EPOL 310) 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. All students must register for the lecture and one discussion section.

Race and Cultural Diversity (EPS 310)

Race and Cultural Diversity (EPS 310) All students must register for the lecture and one discussion section.