Dr. Fred Bonner Joins the GSE As Samuel Dewitt Proctor Chair In Education

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) is pleased to welcome Dr. Fred A. Bonner II, an esteemed expert in the field of diversity in education, as the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education at the Graduate School of Education (GSE).

“Fred is passionate about affecting change in education,” said Dr. Richard De Lisi, Dean of Rutgers GSE.  “His research focusing on the achievements of African-Americans in academic settings is a strong addition to the GSE community and to the legacy of Samuel Proctor.”

Serving as the second Proctor Chair, Dr. Bonner will have the opportunity and resources to work with Dean De Lisi to develop an original vision of the Proctor legacy and new initiatives to realize the core mission of advancing civic leadership and educational excellence.

“I am committed to promoting a scholarly agenda that focuses on the advancement of underrepresented and marginalized populations in both domestic and global P-20 educational contexts,” Dr. Bonner said. “Undergirding my research is the ever-present emphasis on the acknowledgement and respect of the resilience existing within culturally diverse communities.”

Dr. Bonner previously served as Professor of Higher Education Administration and Associate Dean of Faculties at Texas A&M University-College Station. He received a B.A. in chemistry from the University of North Texas, an M.S.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Baylor University, and an Ed.D. in higher education administration and college teaching from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Dr. Bonner was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to support his work focusing on factors influencing the success of high achieving African American students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Additionally Dr. Bonner served as co-editor and contributor to the recently released Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs published by Stylus Publishing and authored the book Academically Gifted African-American Male College Students published by Praeger Publishers and released in May 2010.

The late Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor served as a member of the Rutgers University faculty for 15 years, including appointments on the faculty of the Graduate School of Education, as the first incumbent of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chair, and as a visiting Professor in the Department of Africana Studies. Dr. Proctor was the first African-American faculty member at both the school and the university to have an endowed professorship named for him. Dr. Proctor served as President of Virginia Union and North Carolina A&T Universities, Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York, on the governing boards of the United Negro College Fund, National Urban League, Harvard Divinity School and in the Peace Corps before coming to Rutgers.  The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair honors his legacy and manifests the continuing commitment of Rutgers GSE and the University to his lifetime of work on issues of education and equity.

The inaugural holder of the Proctor Chair, Dr. Dorothy Strickland, held the position for almost seven years before retiring from the GSE.  She is a member of the New Jersey State Board of Education and was recently been named to a task force designed by the New Jersey State Board of Education to address the state’s academic achievement gap and was honored with the 2011Ernest L. Boyer Outstanding Educator Award from the New Jersey Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (NJASCD). A former classroom teacher, reading consultant and learning disabilities specialist, she is a past president of both the International Reading Association (IRA) and its Reading Hall of Fame. She was the l998 recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English Award as Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts. She has numerous publications in the field of reading/language arts.

“I would like to express my congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Bonner and to the Rutgers GSE,” said Dr. Strickland. “No doubt this is a great match; Dr. Proctor would approve.”

Additional information on Dr. Bonner, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education, and Dr. Strickland may be found by contacting (732) 932-7496 x 8211.