Research: Dean James Earl Russell

| June 23, 2011

James Earl Russell (1864 – 1945) served as the Dean of Teachers College from 1898 – 1927. He attended Cornell University on a scholarship and graduated with honors in Philosophy. He went on to become a teacher at the Cascadilla school in Ithaca, New York. He was frustrated with how little freedom existed within the curriculum at the Cascadilla school. The main emphasis at the school was college acceptance. As a result of his frustration, Russell traveled to Europe to observe the European school system and compare it to the American school system. Russell returned to the United States and was offered a position at Teachers College as head of the department of psychology. While working at Teachers College it was evident to Russell that the school was struggling to survive. Russell drafted a plan for Teachers College to become a part of nearby Columbia University. The plan was approved and shortly after the approval, Russell became dean of Teachers College. He placed an emphasis on the comparative study of educational systems and is credited as one of the pioneers in international and comparative education studies. During James Earl Russell’s tenure as Dean, the enrollment and finances at Teachers College grew tremendously. To search for pictures of Dean James Earl Russell click here. To read more about the former Dean click here.