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Tambra Jackson named dean of IU School of Education at IUPUI

For Immediate Release Jun 8, 2021
Tambra Jackson
Tambra Jackson.Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

INDIANAPOLIS – Tambra Jackson has been named dean of the Indiana University School of Education at IUPUI effective July 1, subject to approval by the IU Board of Trustees.

IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar appointed Jackson as interim dean of the school in August 2019. Under Jackson’s leadership, the School of Education at IUPUI has continued to thrive as a leader in urban education, forging strong internal and external partnerships, developing a strategic enrollment management plan that has yielded increased enrollment and new programs, and addressing inequities related to race in urban educational contexts.

“Tambra Jackson has distinguished herself as a transparent and transformational leader who has brought faculty and staff together to create a shared vision for the role of the School of Education at IUPUI,” Paydar said. “During this time of transition, she has led with expertise, experience and a collaborative spirit that have helped strengthen the school and enhance its reputation. I look forward to all that she will continue to bring to the School of Education at IUPUI and the positive effects that will be felt on our campus and in the schools and organizations where so many of our graduates serve and make a difference.”

Jackson’s appointment follows consultation with faculty governance and an independent, anonymous survey of the school’s faculty and staff, which showed overwhelming support of her continuing leadership.

Jackson joined the IUPUI faculty in 2015 as an associate professor of teacher education and has also served as chair of the Department of Urban Teacher Education. Before her appointment at IUPUI, Jackson was a tenured associate professor in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina.

An award-winning educator, Jackson brings extensive and varied experience to her role as dean, which includes hands-on work as a classroom teacher and faculty liaison with area K-12 schools. Drawing on this experience, Jackson has been active in developing curriculum and instruction as well as in developing and expanding programs, especially in areas that strengthen teacher preparation. For instance, she has contributed at both the local and national levels to the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools, which provide training opportunities for teachers as well as summer and after-school enrichment for K-12 students through a research-based and multicultural program model.

As a professor of urban teacher education, Jackson has centered her research, teaching and service on equity methodologies that improve educational outcomes for students in marginalized communities, specifically those who are culturally and linguistically diverse. She has published and presented extensively in areas such as culturally relevant and sensitive teaching practices, school-university partnerships, teacher preparation, and building community as a way to strengthen education. She is currently the principal investigator on a $500,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education providing cultural competency training and support to over 300 schools across the state.

Among other activities at IUPUI, Jackson has served on the Racial Justice Summit Planning Committee and the Black Women Task Force, which aims to improve the environment for Black women on campus and strengthen campuswide retention efforts. In addition, Jackson is a sought-after mentor, especially among graduate students studying urban education at IUPUI and at institutions across the country.

Jackson’s professional service includes membership on the national planning committee for the Faculty Women of Color in the Academy National Conference; on the Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; and on the editorial review board for Education in a Democracy: A Journal of the National Network for Educational Renewal.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to serve as the dean of the School of Education,” Jackson said. “I look forward to leading the school in becoming the premier urban-focused school of education in the state and a national exemplar.”

Jackson received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with a concentration in English/language arts from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio. She earned a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in curriculum, teaching and educational policy from Michigan State University.

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