Literacy expert named interim Education dean

Alfred Tatum

Alfred Tatum, interim dean of the College of Education. Photo: Jenny Fontaine/UIC Public Affairs (click on image for larger file size)

Alfred Tatum, a nationally recognized expert on the literacy of African American boys, was named interim dean of the College of Education, pending approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Tatum is a professor of curriculum and instruction in the college. His appointment follows the retirement of Victoria Chou, dean for 16 years.

Since joining UIC in 2007, Tatum has been chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, director of the UIC Reading Clinic, and coordinator of the doctoral program in Literacy, Language and Culture.

The author of three books, he has written literacy curricula distributed by Scholastic Inc. for use by millions of students throughout the country.

Last year, he participated in the National Summit on Educational Excellence and Opportunity for African American Males, part of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

For more than 10 years, Tatum has served on the national reading committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

He was a board member of two major literacy organizations, the International Reading Association and the Literacy Research Association.

Tatum recently authored policy reports and solution briefs for Jobs for the Future, a national organization fostering career-oriented education, and the Council of Great City Schools, an organization of the nation’s largest urban public school systems.

Prior joining UIC, Tatum taught at Buffalo State College, the University of Maryland and Northern Illinois University. He was a senior research associate for North Central Regional Education Lab.

A search for a permanent dean began last year and will continue this fall, said Lon Kaufman, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.