African American Issues, Diversity/Equity, Education, Leadership, Literature and Theatre, Rhetoric, Teacher Education
Literacy Development, Inclusive Leadership
Title: Provost and Executive Vice President, Professor
Department: Academic and Student Affairs, School of Education
Interviewed by: Scripps National, Denver Business Journal
Alfred Tatum, Ph.D., is the provost and executive vice President of Academic Affairs and professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has over 18 years of higher education experience and is passionate about relationship building and inclusive leadership. He is a leading authority and one of the nation’s prominent education scholars of African American boys’ literacy development.
Tatum currently oversees academic activities throughout MSU Denver, with direct responsibility for developing, delivering and evaluating academic program policies and procedures. He is also responsible for the promotion, tenure, retention processes as well as other faculty related plans within the university.
Prior to becoming provost at MSU Denver, Tatum was the dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2013-2020 and directed the UIC Reading Clinic from 2007-2020. Also during that time, he hosted Boys College for three years aimed to advance the literacy development of Black boys in elementary school. Additionally, he led two Post-Release Education and Preparation projects for young men on intensive probation with Cook County after convincing the juvenile court judges to assign the young males to the UIC Reading Clinic instead of jail. Tatum’s most recent research project, focused on the roles of texts and writing to advance the literacy development of African American males in elementary school. His most recent scholarship focuses on moving U.S. students to advanced levels of reading, writing and intellect development across the academic disciplines.
Tatum has co-authored three books, four major reading and writing programs and 77 academic papers and publications. He authored the award-winning book, “Teaching Reading to Black Adolescent Males: Closing the Achievement Gap” in 2005. His second book, “Reading for Their Life: (Re) building the Textual Lineages of African American Males” was published in 2009. His third book, “Fearless Voices: Engaging a New Generation of African American Adolescent Male Writers” was published in 2013. A fourth book, “Teaching Black Boys in the Elementary Grades” is scheduled to be released by Teachers College Press in November 2021.
Tatum received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Chicago and his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.