Faircloth named director of American Indian Leadership Program

December 17, 2010

University Park, Pa. -- College of Education Dean David H. Monk has named Susan C. Faircloth the new director of the University's highly regarded American Indian Leadership Program (AILP). Faircloth is an associate professor of educational leadership at Penn State, and is replacing former director John Tippeconnic III, who took a position at Arizona State University in June 2010.

"Susan Faircloth has demonstrated her abilities in teaching, research and outreach and has emerged as national leader for American Indian education," Monk said. "We are privileged to have her as a colleague at Penn State, and I am confident that she will provide excellent leadership for the AILP as we continue to build upon its proud history of developing influential leaders in Indian education."

Faircloth, who joined the college faculty in the fall of 2003, is an enrolled member of the Coharie Tribe.

"For more than 40 years, the American Indian Leadership Program has been at the forefront of leadership development and training," she said. "As a graduate of this program, I am both honored and humbled by the opportunity to assume the directorship of the AILP. As the new director, I am committed not only to the preparation of educational leaders, but to the production and dissemination of high-quality scholarly work around the topic of leadership in Indian education."

The AILP, housed in the College of Education's Department of Education Policy Studies, was established in 1970. To date more than 200 students from numerous tribes and geographic locations throughout North America have participated in the program.

Department head Gerald K. LeTendre, professor of educational theory and policy, welcomes Faircloth's appointment. "I’m very pleased to see Susan taking over as director of the AILP," he said. "Her breadth of academic expertise and her international interests will open up many new opportunities for our students. Leaders in the NA/AI community are working with challenging but exciting issues such as the growth and expansion of tribal colleges, and I think Susan is well positioned to guide the program as it grows and adapts over the coming years."

Faircloth holds a doctorate in educational administration and an master of education in special education, both from Penn State. For the past several years she worked closely with Tippeconnic.

"I'd like to recognize the accomplishments of the previous director, Dr. John Tippeconnic, who has been my mentor, colleague and friend," Faircloth said. "I wish him well in his new endeavors. I'm sure that we will find ways in which to continue our collaborative efforts to improve the educational experiences and subsequent academic outcomes of American Indian and Alaska Native students across the nation."

Seventeen graduate students from throughout the United States graduated from the AILP's inaugural class. Now one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country, Penn State's AILP is regarded as one of the nation's most successful American Indian educational leadership programs.

The training of qualified leaders for service to Indian nations is the central aim of the American Indian Leadership Program. The objectives are consistent with the goals of the Indian Education Act and the needs of American Indian communities nationwide. The strength of the program is confirmed by the many and varied roles past participants play in the quest for improvement of educational opportunities for American Indian school children.

  • Susan Faircloth, associate professor of educational leadership, will take over as the director of Penn State's American Indian Leadership Program.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 09, 2015