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About Professor Jerlando F. L. Jackson

Jerlando F. L. Jackson is the ninth dean of the Michigan State University College of Education, MSU Research Foundation Professor of Education, and Director and Chief Research Scientist of the Organizational Disparities Laboratory. 

For thirty consecutive years, MSU has been ranked a top public College of Education with academic programs in education, health, and well-being. MSU College of Education has 10 programs ranked in the top-15, with three ranked #1, six in the top-5, and eight in the top-10. 

As dean, Jackson is committed to continuing the MSU College of Education’s rich legacy of leadership, scholarship and service, with a keen focus on interdisciplinary and cross-college collaborations with a defined state, national, and global footprint through key partnerships. Since assuming the deanship in July 2022, Jackson has ushered the college through the finalization of a strategic plan and strengthened relationships with the MSU College of Natural Science and MSU Health Sciences, resulting in new initiatives. In particular, the Advancing Education with Science strategic priority positions the college to lead in the areas of virtual education, intelligent classroom design and utility, artificial intelligence in education, STEM education, and VAX-R, the mixed application of virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality to create industry changing teaching and learning experiences. The initiative creates new opportunities with MSU’s College of Natural Sciences, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, Lyman Briggs College, College of Social Science, and external partners including Great Lakes Virtual Reality.

Dean Jackson is also committed to harnessing the transformative power of education and fostering an innovative, enriching, and supportive organizational culture and environment in which faculty, staff, and students can optimize their professional growth. Thus, he created a series of initiatives to foster information sharing, collaboration, and support amongst the college community, including InformED, in which university leaders share expertise with the college, and ExplorED, a video series showcasing influential leaders discussing critical challenges related to education, health and well-being.

Prior to joining Michigan State University in 2022, Dean Jackson held both the Rupple-Bascom Professor of Education and Vilas Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also served as chair of the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis department and the director and chief research scientist of Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB).

Dean Jackson’s research on hiring practices, career mobility, workforce diversity, and workplace discrimination evolved into his work on organizational disparities with a particular focus on STEM. Dean Jackson has a portfolio of research focused on interventions designed to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in the scientific workforce. Fueled by more than 125 publications, Dean Jackson and his research team produced 75 percent of the research exclusively on African American/Black individuals in computing between 2008 and 2020. His research has been crucial to providing intellectual and programmatic direction for nine NSF-funded interventions across computing, engineering, and geosciences. As a result, Dean Jackson is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2021) and a member of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society. He is regularly ranked a top 200 education scholar through the annual Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. 

Dean Jackson earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Iowa State University, a Master of Education (M.Ed.) from Auburn University, and a Bachelor of Music Education (BM.Ed.) from The University of Southern Mississippi.

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