(Charleston, Illinois) — Eastern Illinois University has named Dr. Laretta Henderson as the next dean of the university’s esteemed College of Education.
“I am honored to join the College of Education at Eastern Illinois University,” Henderson shared. “Under the leadership of Dean Bower, the faculty have created an excellent array of degree programs. I look forward to assisting the College as we expand our role as leaders in rural K-12 education by strengthening our relationships, informing Illinois policy and licensure initiatives, and serving as visible, vibrant leaders within our higher education communities.”
Dr. Jay Gatrell, EIU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, echoed Henderson’s sentiment.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome Dr. Henderson to our EIU Family,” Gatrell said. “Eastern’s history as a normal school is rooted in our enduring commitment to preparing future educators. Laretta’s expertise, leadership, and vision for the future are inspiring. Her enthusiasm for collaborative results will have a profound and robust impact on all of our college and community partners. And I want to offer my special thanks to those who served on the search committee for their hard work and dedication over the past several months in moving this appointment forward in a timely and efficient manner.”
Henderson is exceedingly familiar with higher education initiatives at the national and regional levels. Most recently, she has served as associate dean for the School of Information Studies at University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee (UWM) beginning in 2015, where she helped develop and implement a academic programs and modernize the school’s outcome-based assessment structure. She also served as UWM’s chair of the School of Information’s executive committee (2014-15) and as co-director of its Black Cultural Center (2013). Prior to her career in Wisconsin, Henderson served as assistant dean of students, admissions counselor, and coordinator of minority student retention at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights (1992-95); admissions representative at Roosevelt University in Chicago (1991-92); assistant to the dean of the College of Nursing at University of Illinois at Chicago (1991); and as an admissions counselor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago (1988-91).
In addition to her administrative appointments, Henderson also has a diverse array of academic experience. She served as associate and assistant professor in UWM’s School of Information and Library Studies (beginning in 2010); as assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant (2003-06); a graduate instructor at University in Iowa in Iowa City (1998-2003); and as an instructor of sociology at East-West University in Chicago (1991).
Henderson earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Iowa in 2003. She also has earned two master’s degrees (African American world studies, 1999, University of Iowa; sociology, 1991, Governors State University in University Park, Illinois) and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Illinois State University (1986). She holds several professional certifications and training credentials, has authored three books, and has shared her research through a variety of professional journals and presentations.
The College of Education at Eastern Illinois University serves a diverse student body at the undergraduate and graduate levels and has earned a national reputation for excellence in all its programs. By creating and sustaining partnerships between faculty, students and community agencies, the College is committed to designing and implementing programs that reflect today’s dynamic and evolving learning environments, helping prepare EIU students in the College to serve as leaders in their professions.
Henderson will officially join EIU beginning July 1. She will work closely with the College’s current dean, Dr. Doug Bower, before his scheduled retirement in early summer of 2020. A common occurrence in higher education, this provisional overlap will help EIU to facilitate an effective and effortless transition of leadership within the College as it moves into the 2020-21 academic year.
For more information about EIU’s College of Education, visit https://www.eiu.edu/coe//index.php.
For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at www.eiu.edu, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Laretta Henderson has been selected to lead EIU’s College of Education as the College’s new dean. Henderson’s College of Education deanship at EIU will begin July 1 following the retirement of current College dean Dr. Doug Bower.