IU Latino Faculty and Staff Council honors School of Education Dean Gonzalez

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Indiana University Latino Faculty and Staff Council presented its first-ever Outstanding Achievement Award to IU School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez. IU President Michael A. McRobbie presented the honor during the end-of-the-year celebration and awards held Friday night (April 24).

Gonzalez retires from his administrative role June 30, when he concludes his 15th year leading the School of Education. The school has consistently ranked as one of U.S. News and World Report’s top schools of education during Gonzalez’s tenure.

"Gerardo's leadership has helped to sustain the excellence of IU's School of Education for 15 years," McRobbie said. "He has also been a tireless advocate for diversity and for educational access for students from underrepresented groups. As the first Latino to serve as an academic dean at IU, Gerardo also serves as a model for our students of all they can achieve. I extend my deepest congratulations to him on receiving this well-deserved honor."

“Dean Gerardo Gonzalez exemplifies the highest level of excellence at Indiana University,” said Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, chair of the IU Latino Faculty and Staff Council, professor in the IU Maurer School of Law and the Harry T. Ice Faculty Fellow. “The Latino Faculty and Staff Council recognized him not only for his leadership at the School of Education on the Bloomington campus, but also for the tremendous work he has done at the state and national level. While we now have more Latinos in leadership positions within IU, he adds to those who have set high standards for us and for those to come.”

“Dean Gerardo Gonzalez has been a great friend and ally to La Casa from the moment he arrived on campus,” said Lillian Casillas, director of La Casa, the Indiana University Latino Culture Center. “Not only has he been a supporter of some our programs, but he has been one of our biggest advocates in creating a campus environment that supports Latino students, faculty and staff among other groups. While he is stepping down from the dean’s position, I know he will continue to be a part of what we do.”

Gonzalez came to Indiana University from the University of Florida after serving as the interim dean of the College of Education. He was professor and chair of the department of counselor education and associate dean for administration and finance at the university.

Gonzalez's achievements came after his family emigrated to the United States from Cuba when he was 11 years old. He has spoken frequently to national and international groups and written on the Cuban-American experience and Hispanic education concerns. In 2012, Hispanic Business named him one of the 50 most influential Hispanics in the United States. Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Brian Bosma named him to the Indiana Commission for Hispanic/Latino Affairs in 2012. The IU Latino Faculty and Staff Council previously honored him with its Service Award in 2003 for his advocacy of educational equity and access for underrepresented groups.

In recent months, as the United States and Cuba have begun discussions to normalize relations, Gonzalez has appeared in national and international media outlets to discuss his perspective on the changing policy. He wrote a column for The Huffington Post in January and was interviewed by CNN Espanol and Radio Marti on the matter in February.

A hallmark of Gonzalez’s work in education has been his passionate and consistent call for education policies to best serve all learners. He has spoken forcefully for policies to prepare quality teachers and educational leaders. Gonzalez has testified frequently at the Indiana General Assembly and the Indiana State Board of Education and elsewhere on these matters. He has written numerous related editorials, with columns appearing in Education Week, The Indianapolis Star and other publications.

Gonzalez has led the charge on numerous innovative programs, such as the Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration, which partners the IU School of Education and its resources with schools, districts and others throughout the state on initiatives such as teaching content and college access and retention. He has led the school to offer IU’s first online doctorate program and collaborate on joint degrees with the IU Kelley School of Business and IU Maurer School of Law.

A few more shots from the Latino Faculty and Staff Council ceremony are on the IU President's page.