Message from the Chair

Carolyn Pluim
Carolyn Pluim

Greetings from the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations. We are thrilled to once again connect with you.

Our department is comprised of dedicated, faculty, program coordinators, staff and students who are committed to pursuing academic excellence, intellectual growth and scholarly creativity. I am both proud and honored to work alongside the individuals in this department.

As you all know, this has been a challenging year for many academic programs and institutions of higher education.

Due to COVID-19, many faculty were required to pivot their original course delivery plans and move their courses to an remote learning format. These changes required all in the department to be flexible and open to new learning experiences and opportunities. While I believe we successfully navigated the hurdles we encountered during the pandemic, we are looking forward to the coming fall semester when more face-to-face learning can occur.

Throughout the year we have had some exciting programmatic developments that I encourage you to read about in this newsletter.

Our M.S. Ed. in Principal Preparation, for example, has worked hard to establish an innovative and collaborative residency approach to principal training through partnering with the Illinois Principal Association and the Rockford Public School District.

We also continue to make great strides in our M.S.Ed. in Chief School Business Official Program. The program was yet again awarded recognition by earning a top spot in the U.S. News and World Report recognition for best online graduate programs. This acknowledgement speaks to the hard work, skill-set and experience of faculty who teach in this program, as well as the continued robust relationship with the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

Finally, I want to highlight just a portion of the good work that our faculty continue to be involved in when it comes to their scholarship and creative activities.

For example, Dr. Kerry Burch, faculty member in the Foundations of Education program area, recently published a book titled, “Jefferson’s Revolutionary Theory and the Reconstruction of Educational Purpose.” In this book, Dr. Burch explores American democracy and Jefferson’s theories of democratic ideals and situates these constructs in a relevant and timely way.

As we always enjoy hearing from our alumni, please keep us posted if you have exciting professional news to share (i.e., a new position, recipient of an award etc.). You can either email or email me directly at

Thank you and please stay well, healthy and safe.

Take good care,

Carolyn Pluim
Chair, Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

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