James G. Cibulka, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Education, has been named the next president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The NCATE Executive Board ratified his appointment May 9, 2008.
Cibulka has a long and distinguished record in higher education. Prior to his service at UK, he was associate dean and professor in the University of Maryland’s College of Education and served as chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Planning, and Administration. From 1972 through 1995, Cibulka was a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he established the Department of Community Education. From 1988 to 1995, he directed the doctoral program in urban education at Wisconsin. From 1992 to 1995, he also served as editor of the Educational Administration Quarterly.
Cibulka joined the UK College of Education as its eighth dean in 2002. As an educator and administrator, he spent time each day connecting to the pulse of the college and reaching out to educators and policymakers alike. During his tenure as dean of the college, over 3,600 teachers, school administrators and other educational personnel have been prepared; they teach in every state and several countries. Cibulka also served as a member and chair of the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board which is responsible for issuing certificates to P-12 educators in Kentucky and approving educator preparation programs across the Commonwealth.
Provost Kumble Subbaswamy praised Cibulka’s contribution to the university. “We are grateful to Dean Cibulka for his leadership on educational issues at UK and in the Commonwealth of Kentucky over the past six years. We wish him well in his new national leadership position.”
“I will miss my colleagues at UK and at the College of Education in particular,” Cibulka said. “I was attracted to come to Kentucky because of this state’s commitment to making significant investments to improve its public schools and universities. I hope that important vision will remain steadfast. UK has a special role to play in serving the state. My greatest satisfaction in the last six years has been helping to bring the research expertise of this great university to address the educational challenges of the Commonwealth.”
Cibulka started his career as an administrator for the Chicago Board of Education and as a teacher and administrator in the Model City Community Schools Program in Duluth, Minn. He has authored or co-authored numerous books and scores of articles on education policy, administration and community development.
“I am honored to serve the field in this new capacity,” says Cibulka. “I view this as an exciting opportunity to create a stronger unified voice within our profession on teacher accreditation issues. Every young person in America deserves a teacher of the highest quality. The opportunity to become well educated is a birthright in this great nation, and a well educated citizenry is essential to our society’s future quality of life.
“Teacher education accreditation is a crucial quality assurance tool; it must provide the public with evidence that every educator graduating from an accredited institution is well prepared as a professional. To accomplish this goal, we must strengthen the research evidence concerning effective educator preparation and use that evidence to improve our programs. I am committed to strengthening NCATE’s partnerships with school districts, states, and policy organizations, all with a focus on improving student learning.”
Cibulka expressed his desire to strengthen professional consensus regarding the need for universal accreditation. “We will work with stake holders to design incentives for all institutions to become accredited,” which he says “is a prerequisite for a strong profession.”
Cibulka also will focus on simplifying the accreditation process and making it more cost-effective; he says “I believe we must strive for greater efficiencies using Web technology. We must incorporate more opportunities to focus on continuous improvement as a part of the accreditation process. At the same time, our goal will be to maintain, and even strengthen, rigor throughout the process.”
Sharon Porter Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and head of the search committee for NCATE’s president, says, “I am thrilled that Jim Cibulka has accepted the position as the next NCATE president. I have every confidence that he will help to unite the field and will continue refinements to the NCATE process.”
A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Cibulka graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in government. He earned his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Chicago in 1973, with an emphasis in education policy and political science. He begins his leadership of NCATE July 1, 2008.
NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation as a specialized accrediting body for educator preparation in the United States. NCATE accredits 648 institutions with over 10,000 educator preparation programs. NCATE institutions produce over two-thirds of the nation’s new P-12 educators annually.