U-MASS TECHNOLOGY LEADER NAMED
JAY ROBINSON PROFESSOR AT WESTERN
John F. LeBaron
CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University has named John F. LeBaron, a nationally known authority in educational technology and leadership, as its first Jay M. Robinson Distinguished Professor in Educational Technologies.
Currently emeritus professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, LeBaron will join the educational leadership and foundations faculty in Western's College of Education and Allied Professions on Aug. 15. His appointment was approved by Western's board of trustees during its June meeting.
LeBaron helped lead information technology and academic technology initiatives for the five-campus University of Massachusetts system, and he served as adviser to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, where he co-authored the state's core educational technology policy paper on public school reform.
He also is lead editor and contributing author for the 2001 book “Technology in Its Place: Successful Technology Infusion in Schools,” and lead author of the 1997 book “A Travel Agent in Cyber School: The Internet and the Library Media Program.” He previously served as executive director of Massachusetts Educational Television, and was a member of the education faculty at York University in Toronto.
He earned his doctoral and master's degrees in educational media and technology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
“John LeBaron will provide expertise in the most critical areas of technology to the teaching and learning process,” said A. Michael Dougherty, dean of Western's College of Education and Allied Professions. “His vast experience with online technologies will enable him to provide significant consultative assistance to Western's faculty, staff and students. He will be able to use his experiences to assist the schools in our region, from kindergarten through the college level, with their educational technology initiatives.”
The Jay M. Robinson Distinguished Professorship in Educational Technologies was endowed at more than $500,000 in 1997 through $355,000 in gifts from then-retiring University of North Carolina system president C.D. Spangler, along with $167,000 in state matching funds. It is named in honor of the late Jay Robinson, who served as president of the N.C. State Board of Education from 1994 to 1997. The brother of former Western Chancellor H.F. “Cotton” Robinson, he died in 2000.
The Jay Robinson professorship is designed as a rotating position that will enable the university to bring to campus experts from the corporate or educational sectors who are using electronic technologies to enhance the teaching and learning process.
At the time it was created, the Robinson professorship was the third endowed professorship at Western. Today, the university has nine endowed professorships – all created since 1996.
For more information on endowed professorships, contact Jim Miller, associate vice chancellor for development, at (828) 227-7124.