College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct. - Dec. 2010 > Faircloth Named Director of American Indian Leadership Program

Faircloth Named Director of American Indian Leadership Program

Susan Faircloth has been appointed director of the American Indian Leadership Program in Penn State's College of Education.

by David Price (December 2010)

faircloth_sml.jpgUniversity Park, Pa. -- Penn State's highly regarded American Indian Leadership Program has a new leader itself. College of Education Dean David H. Monk has announced that he has appointed Susan C. Faircloth as the AILP's new director.

"Susan Faircloth has demonstrated her abilities in teaching, research, and outreach and has emerged as national leader for American Indian education," Monk says. "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, associate professor of educational leadership at Penn State, is an enrolled member of the Coharie Tribe. She joined the College of Education faculty in the fall of 2003.

"For more than 40 years, the American Indian Leadership Program has been at the forefront of leadership development and training," she says. "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.

LeTendre.jpgDepartment 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. 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 Ph.D.in educational administration and an M.Ed. in special education, both from Penn State. For the past several years she worked closely with the former director of the AILP, John Tippeconnic III, who took a position at Arizona State University in June 2010.

"I'd like to recognize the accomplishments of the previous director, Dr. John Tippeconnic, who has been my mentor, colleague, and friend," Faircloth says. "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.