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A bus waits outside a Wilmington elementary school. The new UD Partnership for Public Education will initially focus on schools in Delaware's largest city.
With funds donated by two alumni and a
commitment of support from University leaders, the University of
Delaware is launching the UD Partnership for Public Education. The new
partnership is a multidisciplinary effort to mobilize the University's
research, educational and public service capacities to provide sustained
assistance to Delaware schools with low-income and other at-risk
students, focusing initially on schools in the city of Wilmington.
UD faculty and professionals will support improvements in instruction
through professional development programs for teachers and school
leaders and on-site collaboration on school improvement strategies that
reflect national best practices.
Two long-time friends and Blue Hen classmates have joined forces to establish a new Fund for Urban Education
that will provide strategic and integrated support for the partnership.
The $100,000 gift is an initiative of Quinetta Roberson, professor of
management and the Fred J. Springer Chair in Business Leadership at the
Villanova School of Business, and Tony Allen, a UD trustee, who leads
the corporate reputation group for Bank of America, and who serves as
the chair of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.
"Almost 30 years ago, Q and I came to UD with the support of many in
our family and communities. More than a few people believed in us,
demanded the very best from us and supported us every step of the way.
We want the same for today's generation," Allen said.
"In recent years, we have watched UD embrace its role in K-12 public
education reform in Delaware and facilitating diversity and inclusion
on-campus. Our gift is meant to support this work and encourage our
beloved alma mater to do even more," he said.
Roberson noted, "We have been a part of a strong, vibrant Black
Alumni Organization that has kept many of us connected to UD. We are now
calling on others in our alumni community to support this work and/or
give to the University around the issues that matter to them most."
“The University of Delaware is thankful to Drs. Roberson and Allen
for making this critical commitment to extend the University’s role in
strengthening Delaware public education, and specifically to focus on
assistance to schools with large numbers of low-income students,
English language learners and students,” said Acting President Nancy
Targett. ”The UD Partnership for Public Education will build on the
University’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
An active partner
The University of Delaware has been an active partner in the earlier
work of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC), leading to
the final report, Strengthening Wilmington Education: An Action Agenda,
presented to Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and the Delaware General
Assembly last spring. That report was the basis for creating the
Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC), supported by the
work of UD’s Institute for Public Administration.
The UD Partnership for Public Education will strengthen the support
UD is now providing to the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission,
which is focused on strengthening pre-K-12 education in Wilmington and
New Castle County. Information on this groundbreaking work on
Wilmington education is available at www.solutionsfordelawareschools.com.
"The UD Partnership for Public Education,” UD Provost Domenico Grasso
said, “is in perfect alignment with the University's newly launched Community Engagement Initiative
and will directly improve the quality of life in our state and
strengthening Delaware’s public education system -- key goals that
affect us all.”
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
UD students show fourth- and fifth-graders at Elbert-Palmer Elementary School in Wilmington some of the basics of computer programming.
This important work will draw upon the University’s strengths as a
research institution by engaging faculty and professionals from many
disciplines, many of whom are already engaged in assisting affected by
the recommendations of the WEIC. "The new partnership,” said Carol
Vukelich, interim dean of the College of Education and Human
Development, “will mobilize programs in four key areas that draw upon
the University’s strengths: research and evaluation, professional
development, school improvement strategies and models, and engagement
Improving success for low-income students requires a comprehensive
developmental approach that draws upon knowledge from many fields and
focuses on the alignment of needed supports and services starting in
early childhood and extending through entry into a career or higher
education, and drawing upon a strong partnership between the community
and the schools.
“Many UD faculty, professionals and students are already engaged in
support of this effort,” Vukelich said, “and the UD Partnership for
Public Education will provide additional support for their contributions
as well as mobilize contributions from other parts of the UD
George Watson, dean of UD's College of Arts and Sciences, and
Vukelich will co-chair the University-wide steering committee for the UD
Partnership for Public Education.
”The mission of the partnership,” said Watson, “is to marshal and
coordinate University capacity and expertise in direct collaboration
with public schools and with partner organizations such as the
Wilmington Education Improvement Commission.”
About the donors
Quinetta Roberson is the Fred J. Springer Endowed Chair of
Business Leadership at Villanova University. One of the world’s foremost
authorities in organizational behavior specializing in leadership,
talent management and diversity, she has published over 20 articles and
book chapters, and edited a Handbook of Diversity in the Workplace, published by Oxford Press in 2013.
Roberson has been a visiting professor at several international
universities, including Bocconi University in Milan, Italy; Melbourne
Business School in Melbourne, Australia; and FGV-EAESP in São Paulo,
Brazil. She also served a one-year appointment as a program director at
the National Science Foundation. Before joining Villanova University,
she was a tenured associate professor at Cornell University.
She earned her bachelor's degree in finance from UD in 1992 and
serves on the Lerner School of Business and Economics Advisory Council.
Tony Allen is the managing director of the corporate
reputation group at Bank of America, responsible for developing and
monitoring programming to influential external audiences. He is a key
adviser to the bank’s public policy and corporate social responsibility
teams and also chairs the Global Marketing and Corporate Affairs
Diversity & Inclusion Council for the company.
Active in civic affairs throughout the country, Allen is the chairman
of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC), created
by Delaware's governor and General Assembly to strengthen public
education for students throughout the state. He is also the co-founder
or Public Allies-Delaware, a now 20-year old leadership development
organization for young adults interested in public service and chairman
emeritus of the National Urban Fellows, the oldest academic fellowship
for mid-career professionals of color in the country.
Allen also has written extensively in many periodicals and publications including the annual journal, The State of Black America, and the syndicated column To Be Equal.He
ia a Whitney M. Young awardee for Advancing Racial Equality, the
National Urban League’s highest honor and in 2012 was named Delaware
Citizen of the Year. He has received many other honors throughout his
Allen received his bachelor's degree in political science
and his doctorate in urban affairs and public policy in 1992 and 2001,
respectively. He is a member of the University's Board of Trustees.
In 2013, Roberson and Allen co-founded Brooks Whitney, a management
consulting firm. Roberson serves as chief executive officer and Allen is