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Office of the Provost

Office of the Provost

Jason Irizarry Named Dean of the Neag School of Education

Dear Neag School Community,

I write to share an update on next steps for the leadership of the Neag School of Education.

As you know, I learned that Jason Irizarry had been offered a deanship at another university. At that time I asked CLAS Dean Juli Wade, chair of the dean search for the Neag School, to work with the search committee to seek community input on whether to continue with the search as planned or to retain Dean Irizarry with a direct appointment to the position.

I appreciate the commitment and engagement of your community in this important process. You delivered a strong response to the request for feedback, with more than 150 of you completing the survey or sharing your thoughts via email. The committee considered your feedback very thoughtfully and thoroughly. Deviation from a standard search process presents challenges that were noted in the feedback, but the survey results indicated a clear majority of respondents supported appointing Dean Irizarry directly to the role and forgoing the national search. Moreover, the recommendations from the search committee closely mirrored the feedback from the larger community.

In addition to strong support from the Neag School community, I also drew upon my experience of Dean Irizarry as a scholar and strong administrator who is committed to steering the Neag School toward continued growth and strengths in research, education and training, and supporting the needs of the State of Connecticut. When considering the clarity in all of the information at my disposal, it was an easy decision to end the search and directly appoint Dean Irizarry to a five-year term as dean of the Neag School of Education.

Dean Irizarry is an accomplished leader, scholar, and educator. His research focuses on urban teacher recruitment, preparation, and retention with an emphasis on increasing the number of teachers of color, culturally responsive pedagogy, youth participatory action research, and Latinx students in U.S. schools. A central focus of his work involves promoting the academic achievement of youth in urban schools by addressing issues associated with educator preparation. Manuscripts documenting the findings of his research have been published in a variety of journals in the field. He is the author of the award-winning book The Latinization of U.S. Schools: Successful Teaching and Learning in Shifting Cultural Contexts (Paradigm Publishers, 2011) and co-editor of Diaspora Studies in Education: Toward a Framework for Understanding the Educational Experiences of Transnational Communities (Peter Lang, 2014).

Because he was not able to do so more formally in a search, Dean Irizarry has indicated that he will share his vision for the School, first with a statement in the coming weeks and later in a presentation to the School as we kick off the fall semester.

After multiple surveys and countless conversations, I have learned much about the Neag School, including its history and its potential future. I look forward to continuing the close connection I’ve developed with the School’s students, faculty, staff, and external stakeholders. I encourage those who would like more information about the process and/or the results from the feedback that was solicited to reach out to me individually or as a group.

In conclusion, I am extremely excited to work with Dean Irizarry as he leads the Neag School of Education. Thank you all for your contributions in this process and I look forward to our work together in the future.


Carl Lejuez
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs