Wanda J. Blanchett of Rutgers Becomes AACTE Board Chair

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerrica Thurman 202-478-4502 or jthurman@aacte.org

(March 3, 2018, Baltimore, Md.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is proud to welcome the new chair of its Board of Directors: Dr. Wanda J. Blanchett, interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Rutgers University­–New Brunswick. During her one-year term, Blanchett will lead the Board through strategic planning in partnership with AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone.

“What I’d like to see AACTE do is to continue on the path that it’s been on for 70 years,” Blanchett said. “Continue to be that education, and specifically, teacher education policy advocate. Continue to be that professional standards advocate.” In addition, she said, she hopes the Association will take bold steps in supporting its members to increase the diversity of the profession at all levels from PK-12 teachers to the professoriate, ensuring that the curriculum in our teacher education programs better prepares all candidates to meet the needs of today’s diverse students and their families and  reflects a commitment to diversity, equity and social justice and taking a stand with like-minded organizations to improve school safety for all students and educators,  including advocating for and securing common-sense gun laws.

Blanchett, who until recently served as dean of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, is a veteran educator committed to employing the research expertise and resources of universities to enhance the overall well-being and life chances of historically underserved communities. She has been a public school special education teacher as well as a tenured faculty member and academic administrator at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,  prior to joining Rutgers.

In her role as an academic leader, Blanchett has led successful strategic planning and fund-raising initiatives, increased national and international visibility for her programs and implemented innovative academic programming focused on advancing educational equity and access, diversity and inclusion. Her research focuses on issues of educational inequity related to urban contexts; race, class and gender; disproportionate representation of students of color in special education; and issues of sexuality for students with disabilities.

Blanchett earned her Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, where she was also a Holmes Scholar. In 2015, she was inducted as a Penn State Alumni Fellow, the highest honor bestowed upon alumni by the Penn State Alumni Association.

Blanchett was elected to the AACTE Board of Directors in 2016 as a representative of the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI), and her Board colleagues elected her to the chair position. The Board includes 26 representatives of AACTE member institutions around the country.


Founded in 1948, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at www.aacte.org.

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