UNCG School of Education
2010 – 2015
This decade brought two changes in leadership by July 2016. In 2011, Karen K. Wixson took the reigns of the SOE after Dale Schunk stepped down to return to a faculty position in the department of Teacher Education and Higher Education.
Among Wixson’s transformations of the SOE was a reorganization of its administrative structures including the creation of Associate Dean positions in Research and Assessment, and Academic and Student Affairs. Wixson also created an Office of Student Services and Advising and new organization structures for faculty governance and the oversight of licensure programs at UNCG. In the wake of these changes, the School has seen a significant increase in external funding and developed multiple strategies for dealing with enrollment and budget challenges.
Wixson also guided the School of Education to a highly positive re-accreditation determination for UNCG’s licensure programs by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Among her greatest achievements was the re-visioning of the Michel Family Teaching Resources Center and unveiling of the new SELF Design studio as part of the new School of Education Building, which opened in 2011. These re-designed facilities were instrumental in SOE receiving its second Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant from the US Department of Education in partnership with Guilford County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. The grant award, Transforming Teaching through Technology, is for $7.7M over five years and focuses on leveraging emerging technology to enhance teaching and learning including active involvement in seven high-need schools in partner districts.
Wixson announced in June 2015 that she would be stepping down and a dean search would be conducted immediately. After serving as interim dean for the 2015-16 academic year, Randy Penfield, Chair of the Educational Research Methodology Department, was chosen to lead the SOE beginning in June 2016.
– In spring 2015 and 2016 the Department of Counselor Education and Development was ranked as the No. 2 program in the country by US News and World Report.
– Franklin Gilliam was appointed Chancellor in 2015.
2000 – 2009
The next decade brought with it another change in leadership for the School of Education when David Armstrong chose to retire in 2000. He was replaced in early 2001 by Dale Schunk who had been a professor of educational psychology and head of the Department of Educational Studies at Perdue University.
Like deans Armstrong and Uprichard before him, Schunk quickly established research and grantsmanship as key priorities for the School. Toward this end he hired a full-time director of research to assist faculty in identifying and preparing grant proposals. This move helped further establish research and grantsmanship as being central to the School’s mission.
The university’s increased emphasis on research and grantsmanship was consistent with campus-wide efforts in this regard, and it wasn’t long before a major accomplishment took place. In 2006, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classified The University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a research university with “high research activity.” This category includes universities such as Auburn, Clemson, Georgetown, Rutgers and Wake Forest. And in keeping with its history, the School of Education was a major contributor to this effort.
Schunk’s tenure as SOE dean also was marked by an emphasis on partnerships. He took an active role in guiding further development of the University and School Teacher Education Partnership (USTEP), a formal training and staff development partnership with triad area schools. He also provided support for the Wachovia Teacher Mentoring Network which paired educators from 16 school districts in the area with School of Education sponsored mentors. And Schunk’s emphasis on partnerships didn’t stop there. He established an on-going series of superintendent luncheons as a means of identifying ways in which the School could be more responsive to issues facing the public schools. He also made it a point to visit every school district in the greater Triad area to get a firsthand sense of the realities facing School of Education students upon graduation. He used this knowledge to help guide curricular changes within the School so that graduates would be well prepared to assume their professional roles.
Another hallmark of Schunk’s years as dean was his emphasis on technology. Annual reports for the School during his tenure show a clear and steady increase in the number of courses that included a technology component. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in the number of courses and degree programs offered as online options during his term. His success in this regard was closely related to the fact that he added several full-time instructional technology support staff to assist and train faculty.
Perhaps the biggest event of this decade concerned development of a new School of Education building to replace Curry, which could no longer accommodate the growing number of faculty and staff. The 110,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art building stands on Spring Garden Street next to the Bryan School of Business and Economics. Adding to the excitement about this endeavor was the fact that the building was designed to meet rigid LEED standards (Leadership in Energy Efficient Design) set by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the first “green” building on campus. The sustainable design of the building is expected to save an estimated 35 percent on energy costs annually.
– The SOE led the state’s 47 teacher education programs in the 1990-2000 Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) rankings published by the N.C. State Board of Education.
– In spring 2006 the Department of Counselor Education and Development was ranked as the No. 1 counselor education program in the US by the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and No. 2 by US News and World Report.
– Linda P. Brady was appointed Chancellor in 2009.
– University enrollment climbed to 14,000.
– In 2009 UNCG completed its largest campaign to date, raising $115 million with the School of Education raising $8.6 million of the total.
1990 – 1999
The early ’90s saw the emergence of a new culture of research and grantsmanship within the School. Soon after his appointment in 1988 Dean A. Edward Uprichard quickly moved to establish professional development workshops and administrative structures to support these endeavors. Moreover, he became an active participant in efforts to secure external funding. For example, in 1990, under his leadership, the School won an $18,000,000 grant to operate a southeastern regional education laboratory (SERVE) for the federal government. It was the only such laboratory in the country to be located on a college campus, and the grant was reportedly the largest ever received by any campus in the UNC system to that point.
To fully grasp the success of Uprichard’s push to place greater emphasis on research and grantsmanship consider that by 1993-94 UNCG faculty, as a whole, had won 185 grants worth $16,505,000; the SOE was responsible for almost three quarters of that total.
Another major accomplishment for Uprichard concerned organization of the campus-wide teacher education program. Despite repeated efforts on the part of previous deans to create a more unified entity guided by a strong School of Education presence, teacher education remained fairly disjointed on campus, a situation that frequently caused problems during accreditation reviews. Uprichard was firm in his resolve to address this problem, which led to the development of a reorganization plan giving him greater authority to guide the campus-wide teacher education program through a new entity called the Teachers Academy. The plan was adopted by the administration in 1993. Leadership of the Teachers Academy reported directly to the SOE dean who ultimately was responsible for all teacher education and licensure programs on campus.
Efforts to revise the SOE organizational structure continued under Uprichard’s leadership and in1999 the School added a new department, Specialized Educational Development. Programs in the new department were formerly housed in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. The SOE now officially included six departments: Specialized Educational Development, Curriculum and Instruction (formerly named the Department of Pedagogical Studies and Supervision), Educational Research Methodology, Counseling and Educational Development, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, and Library and Information Studies.
Following his great success as dean of the School, Edward Uprichard was appointed to serve as the university’s provost in 1997. He was replaced as dean by David Armstrong.
One of Armstrong’s priorities upon his arrival was to continue developing the newly established Teachers Academy. He obtained permission to hire a full-time associate dean whose principal responsibility was to establish a comprehensive, campus-wide teacher education program guided by a single set of policies and procedures. Dr. Ceola Ross Baber was the first to serve in this capacity.
Another of Armstrong’s priorities was to place greater emphasis on forming partnerships with agencies and schools in the area. Although a number of formal partnership agreements were in place when Armstrong took over as dean, he was actively involved, along with Associate Dean Baber, in fostering new agreements and expanding others. One project in particular that was greatly expanded was the University and School Teacher Education Partnership (USTEP) which featured extensive use of the Professional Development School model for training undergraduate teacher education majors.
In keeping with national trends at the time, Armstrong also was a strong advocate for the increased use of technology, particularly as an instructional tool. He provided considerable support for this endeavor by offering a variety of professional development opportunities and financial incentives for faculty. He also expanded the role of the School’s instructional technology consultant to include greater involvement in training both faculty and students alike.
– The university celebrated its 100th birthday in 1991-92.
– The university welcomed its first female chancellor in 1995, Patricia A. Sullivan.
– 76 percent of full-time faculty at the university held a doctoral degree
– The graduate program in counselor education was judged best in the nation in 1991 and again in 1994 by its national professional organization.
– By the early 1990s a significant number of the state’s superintendents and principals held EdD degrees from UNCG.
1980 – 1989
This decade was marked by a number of important events. The ’80s and early ’90s saw a significant increase in undergraduate interest in the arts and sciences. Business administration and its related programs remained strong, but the most popular major during this time was nursing, followed by English and psychology. Longtime favorite, education, fell to fifth place.
There also were several important conflicts related to Dean Reilly’s management of the School. He made repeated attempts to reorganize the teacher education program so that control of the teacher education program would become centralized. Eighty-eight licensure programs were scattered across the campus, involving some 107 faculty members, yet only about half of these students were actually enrolled in the School of Education as education majors. The other half majored in subjects offered elsewhere on campus, but they took the courses necessary to become licensed teachers within the School of Education. Reilly believed that control of all programs leading to a teaching license should be overseen by the education dean. Opponents of this view argued that there was no need to change the organization of teacher education on campus since both NCATE and the state department of public instruction had recently approved the current system. Reilly lost this battle. The teacher education policies and practices remained in place.
There were persistent strains between older and younger faculty members who had been hired in different times with different expectations. Senior faculty, going back in some cases to WC days, had won professional recognition through campus service and participation in professional organizations up to the national level. Their juniors, by contrast, came with a stronger expectation of research activity. Reilly was a clear proponent of the latter view as reflected in the way he allocated resources.
Then, in 1985, Reilly tried and failed to abolish the Department of Curriculum and Educational Foundations, whose members had consistently opposed his policies. Several prominent faculty members, including former Dean Robert O’Kane resigned or took early retirement. Whatever the merits of his policies and strategic plans, Reilly was viewed by many as being a divisive figure in the School. Although he was reappointed for five years, he resigned in 1986 and was subsequently replaced by Jack Bardon who served as interim dean from 1986 through 1988.
– Considerable growth in the university’s endowment occurred in 1986 as result of the Prospectus III campaign. The endowment grew from $4 million to$14 million.
– The Curry building was renovated for a second time in the early 1980s.
1970 – 1979
Another major change in the make-up of the student body took place during this time period. The university had already become a co-educational institution and it was well on its way toward being fully integrated. But a new enrollment pattern emerged during the early ’70s. Commuters had been accounting for most of the enrollment growth after 1967. Commuters became the majority in 1971, making UNCG primarily a commuter college.
The focus of criticism from the NCATE review in 1972 remained the same as it was in 1962. The teacher education program was cited for the absence of central control over its programs. This was noted to be especially true for programs preparing secondary level teachers.
Dean O’Kane served as chair of the council that managed teacher education campus-wide, and in light of the poor NCATE review Chancellor Ferguson decided a leadership change was in order. Ferguson appointed education professor Dwight Clark to serve as coordinator, removing coordination of teacher education from the dean’s office. This was a major blow for O’Kane who subsequently stepped down as dean. He was quickly replaced by David Reilly in 1974.
Reilly was quite different than Robert O’Kane. Where O’Kane emphasized the need for strong grounding in the disciplines, with less emphasis on what he viewed as non-essential teacher preparation course work (e.g. theoretical foundations, learning theories, historical foundations, etc.), Reilly sought to place greater emphasis on the scientific study of effective practices, as his training and experience were in the areas of clinical psychology and research.
Morale in the School of Education was low and there was no clear sense of direction for the School and its programs. But by the end of Reilly’s first year, NCATE accreditation was secured and he had created a preliminary departmental organization. Unfortunately, not everyone was in favor of the move from a School of Education organized as three divisions, each comprised of a handful of related, but independent, programs, to a departmental organization. This reorganization created a number of hostile factions among the faculty and did little to improve morale. Moreover, there was still no accepted sense of purpose or direction for the School.
Reilly continued in his efforts to lead the School toward a more unified sense of purpose by seeking faculty input on revising the School of Education’s Mission Statement. This process became a fairly drawn out affair that, in many ways, served to underscore the deep divisions across the School.
Reilly also began the process of further strengthening the School through a series of senior-level faculty appointments. Two well know school psychologists, Jack Bardon and William Purkey were hired in 1976. Indeed, Bardon, who came from Rutgers that year, is often referred to as the father of modern school psychology. Other senior appointments continued to underscore the administration’s commitment to strengthening the School of Education. These included such well known scholars as Richard Jaeger and Carol Tittle, both from the field of Educational Research.
– William Moran was appointed chancellor in 1979.
– UNCG student enrollment more than doubled from 4,249 in 1964 to 9,925 in 1979. Graduate enrollments more than tripled.
– The professional schools in 1971 instituted the use of student evaluations of teaching. Each school was charged with creating its own evaluation tool to be used by all members of the unit to evaluate their performance in all their courses.
1960 – 1969
During this period WC was officially renamed The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Also during this time frame the administration for the consolidated UNC System approved a plan to move the university to co-educational status. The first male students were admitted in fall of 1963, much to the dismay of many alumni who were very loyal to WC.
While the switch to co-educational status did not have an immediate impact on enrollment growth, it did have an immediate impact on the curriculum. In an effort to attract more male students, the university broadened its curriculum in the sciences and business administration. Unfortunately, this led to less emphasis on expanding education offerings, although it did create a foundation for expanding licensure areas at the secondary level.
Momentum continued to grow among faculty and administration for UNCG to become more of a research university with a regional if not national reputation. Apparently this trend did not sit well with students, however, who expressed their dissatisfaction with the growing emphasis on research, as captured in the 1962 self-study report.
Education still remained the most popular major, with elementary education alone accounting for 20-25 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded. Enrollment figures did not include those going into secondary education who majored in their subject fields. While the school had been awarding master’s degrees since 1922, it acquired a doctor of education degree in 1966. About 90 percent of all the graduate work on campus that year was carried on in education.
Another key event that took place in 1966 was the departure of education dean Kenneth Howe. Succeeding him a year later was Robert O’Kane of Rutgers University. O’Kane prided himself on recruiting outstanding faculty to the School, particularly those who, like himself, held advanced degrees from top-notch institutions. Indeed, he hired so many people from Harvard, his alma mater, that some on the faculty jokingly referred to the growing subgroup of new faculty as the “Harvard Mafia.”
National accreditation also began to exert greater influence on the university’s teacher education program. When the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education programs (NCATE) first reached the university in 1962, its visiting team appeared to be more interested in how the teacher education program was organized than in its content. The visiting team was particularly concerned by the fact that control of teacher education seemed to be spread across the campus, rather than being centralized within the School of Education. While the teacher education program was fully accredited in 1964 following a number of modifications and reorganizations, this issue would persist for years and ultimately have a major impact on Robert O’Kane’s tenure as dean.
– The name of the college was changed in the spring of 1963 to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
– Otis Singletary presided over UNCG during the civil rights protests in Greensboro and during its transition to a coeducational institution. Young women from UNCG attended the sit-in at Woolworth’s counter and other protests while the administration watched the changes.
– While enrollment in the Curry School’s elementary level classes remained strong, enrollment in its secondary classes continued to decline. This factor, along with great deterioration in the building, led Dean Howell to call for the school to be closed.
1950 – 1959
Their arrival and first year on the campus reflected a segregated North Carolina, consequently the decision to admit them was not embraced by all. Indeed, the archival papers of Edward Kidder Graham, who was chancellor from 1950 to 1956, show he received numerous letters strongly protesting the move toward integration from family members whose children were enrolled at WC. The sensitivity of this issue was further underscored when Drane and Tillman arrived on campus and found themselves assigned to an entire wing of a residence hall with no other students. But they persevered and made friends with white students who largely accepted them as schoolmates.
Drane and Tillman also gained the respect of both faculty and staff, among whom stood Warren Ashby, a longtime advocate and champion of desegregation. In a 1955 memo written on behalf of the Faculty Council Ashby asserted, “We believe that qualified students of any race can be incorporated satisfactorily into The University of North Carolina.”
Bettye Ann Tillman Sanders, who died eight years after graduating, taught social studies at Frederick-Sasser Junior-Senior High School and Douglass Junior-Senior High School in Upper Marlboro, Md. She also did further study at the University of Maryland and American University.
JoAnne Smart Drane went on to earn her master’s degree at Duke University and became a public school official in Raleigh. She served as vice president of the UNCG Alumni Association from 1990 to 1992 and later served on the UNCG Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2004.
A second important issue dominating this time period involved scrutiny of the teacher education curriculum. Many on campus believed the general education curriculum needed to be reformed. Proponents argued that interdisciplinary liberal arts courses, which would permit more in-depth study of the disciplines, should be substituted for the introductory-type courses emphasized during the first two years of study. Such a shift was seen as an essential element of a strong liberal arts foundation.
Another criticism of the teacher education curriculum, one that had been gaining attention nationally, was that educators overemphasized their own methods courses at the expense of the academic subjects that prospective teachers would be expected to teach. Charles Prall, dean of the school at the time, shared this view, asserting that the curriculum needed to “maximize the academic and minimize the methods courses in the curriculum.”
During this time greater emphasis was placed on research and publication. The university increasingly hired new faculty who had their doctorates and were judged to have scholarly potential. Also during this time a philosophical shift began to emerge within the School such that some faculty began to argue in favor of placing greater emphasis on scientific study and less emphasis on theorizing. This difference in viewpoints was to continue over the next two decades.
Student enrollment at the Woman’s College ranged from about 2,400 in the early ’50s to nearly 3,600 in 1962-63. Education continued to top the list of majors, followed by business education and home economics.
In line with national trends, this was a period of considerable expansion in graduate programs. By 1950, WC had master’s programs in elementary education, home economics and musical composition, as well as an interdisciplinary program in fine arts. By 1960, physical education, music education and English followed. Nearly all the students in these programs were teachers, prospective teachers, or administrators in the public schools.
– WC student enrollment during the ’50s was so great as to overwhelm the capacity of Curry School to absorb the practice teachers. More and more were assigned to placements in the public schools.
1940 – 1949
A reoccurring theme of moving toward coeducation continued to be in the forefront of discussions. Supporters argued that UNC and State were moving toward coeducation themselves and were getting more resource to accommodate this shift. It was further argued that unless WC took steps to keep pace with other schools in the consolidated system, WC would lose out in terms of enrollment growth and allocation of resources. Despite strong economic arguments, WC alumnae were overwhelmingly opposed to this shift and active in voicing their displeasure.
Relatively little emphasis was placed on faculty research during this period. There were limited funds to support a research agenda, and effective teaching was felt to be the most important priority.
Although graduate programs were limited and under-enrolled prior to this time, they did in fact expand in the 1940s. In 1942, the Consolidated University authorized each campus to establish a Graduate School under its own associate dean. In 1945 each campus could create its own graduate faculty. At WC this development was led by Franklin H. McNutt who arrived in 1941 to fill the position of head of education, following the death of John Cook. Shortly after his arrival McNutt also was appointed associate dean of graduate studies.
Graduate training began to play an increasingly prominent role at WC. Under the consolidated system plan all graduate work in education was centered in Chapel Hill. But with salary and career advancements increasingly tied to the master’s degree, Chapel Hill could no longer meet the demand. Chapel Hill initially started to address this concern by offering extension courses at State and WC. This in turn led to requests from those institutions to offer their own coursework. WC subsequently sought permission to offer a master’s program in elementary education, which went into effect in 1949. Unfortunately, WC was still not permitted to offer graduate coursework in necessary related fields, thus WC’s request to offer a master’s degree in secondary education was not granted.
Franklin McNutt resigned as head of education in 1946 and the position remained open until 1948 when education was again moved from a department to a school level. The dean appointed to replace McNutt was Charles E. Prall former dean of education at the University of Pittsburgh.
– In 1941, WC celebrated its 50th year of operation.
– John Cook, who served as education department head, school of education dean, and associate dean of the graduate school, died in 1941. Charles Prall replaced him as dean of the school of education.
– In 1949, WC became largest college for women in United States.
– The Curry School, which served as a lab school for teaching practice, is still open at this time but enrollment was declining, primarily due to the size of the building. Increasingly education students did their practice teaching in the public schools.
1930 - 1939
Up to this point the WC campus was administered by the state as a single entity with its own governing body. Now the General Assembly appointed a consolidated board made up of representatives from each of the three constituent schools with the majority (62 percent) coming from Chapel Hill, followed by State (16 percent) and WC (8 percent). An additional 14 percent of board members were unaffiliated. It’s easy to see how this imbalance made it difficult for WC to compete for resources, which in turn led to widespread resentment among WC faculty and alumni.
In planning for the consolidated system the new board tried to achieve two goals. They wanted to preserve each school’s present identity and they wanted to concentrate advanced programs on a single campus as much as possible. Under this new arrangement Chapel Hill gave up its engineering school to State, but State surrendered its business school in return. Although WC lost the graduate level library science program, the college continued to monopolize enrollment of freshmen and sophomore women, primarily because of its strong teacher education programs. Elementary education was confined to WC at the undergraduate level while secondary work was permitted at both Chapel Hill and WC. Most graduate work was concentrated at Chapel Hill. While WC theoretically retained graduate work in home economics and business education, few students were enrolled in these programs.
Also as part of the consolidation plan, existing academic schools on each campus were reduced to departments. Music remained a school at WC, but the schools of Education and Home Economics were switched to departments and remained so until 1948 and 1949 respectively. John Cook, who had been serving as dean of the School of Education during this time period, continued his leadership role but as the head of the Department of Education.
Further consolidation of campuses across North Carolina continued throughout the ’60s and ’70s resulting in the current 17-campus system that comprises the consolidated UNC System today.
– The name of the College was changed in 1932 to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (WC) when it officially joined the newly consolidated UNC System.
– In 1932 enrollment at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina increased from 223 to 1,556. Its faculty had grown from 15 when it first opened to 170. Unfortunately, effects of the depression had a deep impact on faculty salaries, which dropped by 65 percent at their worst.
– In 1934 Walter Clinton Jackson was named head of WC with the title of Dean of Administration. The term “dean of administration” remained until it was replaced by the term Chancellor in 1945.
1920 - 1929
Teacher education was undergoing a transformation nationally in the 1920s, moving from short-term normal school programs to programs occupying four years of college work. Accordingly, teacher education students accounted for a substantial portion of the growing college and university population. This trend also was apparent at NCCW. Its enrollment in education programs (at 846) outnumbered those at any school of education south of the Mason-Dixon Line and west to California. Well over a third of NCCWs juniors and seniors were education majors, and that did not include those planning to teach in high schools who majored in specific subject areas. In addition to being well-enrolled, NCCW’s education programs featured something few others offered students. According to then-Dean John H. Cook, NCCW was practically the only place where education majors could get a four-year college education with training school experience. As a result, its graduates were highly sought out and commanded the best jobs and salaries available.
Unfortunately, there also were a few unexpected bumps along the way. In 1926, just as a new and much improved School of Education and Curry School building neared completion on Spring Garden Street, the old one on College Avenue burned to the ground. However, despite some short-lived disruptions, students and faculty were able to move into the new building without major delays.
During this time frame North Carolina adopted a statewide set of teacher certification requirements, basing them on the completion of college-level work. This did not present a problem for NCCW students since President Foust had been emphasizing curricular improvements from the time he assumed his position. In short, education majors were well prepared to meet the new certification requirements.
Similarly, during this time-frame the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges of the Southern States gave its stamp of approval to NCCW’s schools of Education and Music, ushering in the next period of development for NCCW, that of physical and academic expansion.
– Programs in the schools of Education and Music were accredited by the Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges of the Southern States.
– The number of faculty doubled from 73 in 1919 to 150 in 1929.
1910 - 1919
Since Foust assumed a number of roles during his time as Dean of Faculty, including that of professor, department head, and principal of Curry School, the lab school on campus where students did their practice teaching, he had to appoint several individuals to take over these responsibilities. Over time Foust also had to find replacements for Junius Matheson and William Cunningham Smith as both of these men developed serious health problems. They were replaced by James Highsmith and John Cook who arrived in 1916 and 1918 respectively. Cook served many years as head of the Department of Pedagogy, and in the 1920s as Dean of Education under a new administrative reorganization plan.
During this time Curry School grew in proportion to the expansion of public education and of the college itself. It was in effect a neighborhood school within the Greensboro school system. Beginning in 1913 Curry added each year a new grade from eighth to eleventh, which was considered the senior year in the state. It produced its first high school graduating class in 1917.
The General Assembly in 1919 renamed the institution the North Carolina College for Women (NCCW). This name change brought about increased enrollment and also led to further restructuring of administrative and programmatic policies and practices. Despite its restructuring, NCCW continued to be administered by the state as a single entity with its own governing board, though that situation would change in the early 1930s.
– The College’s name was changed to the North Carolina College for Women in 1919.
– Nearly all graduates between 1916-1920 taught in North Carolina’s public schools.
1900 - 1909
In 1902 the position of Dean of the Faculty was established and first held by Julius Foust. He also served as head of the Department of Pedagogy. As dean, Foust’s responsibilities included major oversight of all curriculum and academic matters. Under his leadership the curriculum was marked by expansion of services through extension and summer school and by the introduction of new courses to develop a program worthy of accreditation.
The original charter for the Normal school required faculty members to hold teachers’ institutes around the state during the summers and to do so without pay. This practice reflected President McIver’s belief that faculty had a duty to serve their state in return for the state’s support for higher education for women. “Service” became the motto of the university and continues to be reflected in programs and practices to this day.
Its original charter also specified that all graduates would receive teaching certificates. But in 1901 the legislature began requiring all teacher candidates to pass a standard exam before receiving a teaching license. This represented one of the State’s earliest attempts to ensure proficiency among North Carolina’s teachers.
Perhaps the most significant event to take place during this period was the death of Charles Duncan McIver in 1906. McIver was so highly regarded that his passing had a considerable impact on students and faculty alike. Fortunately, the Board of Trustees selected Julius Foust to succeed McIver and the school continued to flourish under his leadership. Although the training of teachers remained the major focus, under Foust’s leadership a strong liberal arts curriculum gradually emerged which became the foundation of all of the institution’s degree programs, including degrees in pedagogy.
– Tuition was $40 per year but it was waived for those who promised to teach in the state’s schools for two years after graduation.
– Brick, the main dormitory, burned in 1904.
1891 - 1899
Charles Duncan McIver was among the first to put forth the idea of creating a state teachers college for women. An early champion of women’s education, McIver served as its first president.
Founding of “the Normal” was a long time in coming. Although providing state-supported higher education for women in North Carolina had been an occasional topic of discussion among educators, the idea did not appear to be taken seriously until after the Civil War. When the idea was first formally proposed to the state’s legislators, all of whom were men, it was overwhelmingly resisted. It wasn’t until Charles Duncan McIver reminded the General Assembly that the state’s Constitution asserted “instruction of youth would be provided at low prices and would be encouraged at one or more universities.” McIver argued that women were part of its youth and were, therefore, rightfully entitled to an education.
In addition to the constitutional basis for establishing an institution for women, several other factors came into play. First, there was an extensive need for qualified public school teachers, a career path assumed to be especially attractive to women. Also, there was overwhelming evidence that the public school system in North Carolina was among the worst in the nation. For example, the average national expenditure per student enrolled in the public schools was $17.62, but North Carolina spent only $3.36 per student. Similarly, the average national length of the school year was 135 days, but it was only 60 days in North Carolina.
While North Carolina did establish a Normal school for men in 1877 to address the teacher shortage, it did not graduate enough men to have much of an impact on the state’s classrooms. That meant a large number of classrooms were still staffed by individuals holding degrees in non-teaching areas or, more likely, individuals without college degrees or with little training beyond high school.
Indeed, for almost a decade after the Normal was founded, the curriculum involved diplomas awarded for work that was distinctly below college level. At the time few public high schools turned out female graduates who were prepared to handle college-level work. The curriculum was gradually modified over time and the Normal School became a full-fledged College in 1897. Baccalaureate degrees followed in 1903 and graduates were awarded a “diploma and life license” to teach in North Carolina. During this time the liberal arts assumed increased prominence, accompanied by expanded offerings in education, home economics and music.