Randy Hitz, dean of the Graduate School of Education, is the new recipient of the 2016 Orcilia Zuñiga Forbes Leadership in Education Advocacy Award from the Foundations for a Better Oregon (FBO)/Chalkboard Project. It is the only award from the Chalkboard Project and is presented annually to recognize state, education, or philanthropic leaders who have a track record of successful education advocacy or education leadership and who are champions of change.
Hitz follows PSU alumna Betty Komp, the state representative from District 22, who received the inaugural award in 2015. He received the award at the FBO/Chalkboard Project annual meeting, November 16, 2017.
Hitz has strengthened partnerships with Oregon school districts to recruit a diverse population of educators and to facilitate better practicum experiences for aspiring teachers and school administrators. His goal was to create a seamless system of educator preparation, from a teacher’s initial entry and throughout his or her career, in order to retain high-quality educators in the workforce.
Hitz played a major role in creating and leading the Oregon Coalition for Quality Teaching and Learning that led to the Oregon Legislature’s formation of the Network for Quality Teaching and Learning.
He introduced the Portland metro area to the Cradle to Career concept and helped form the All Hands Raised organization, which works to strengthen the education continuum from birth to employment.
Hitz and 16 others are members of the Council on Educator Advancement, which works to find ways to strengthen all of Oregon’s education workforce to foster teaching excellence and culturally competent educators.
“The FBO board is pleased to recognize your contributions to improving education in Oregon, particularly in higher education and teacher preparation,” wrote Chalkboard President Sue Hildick in her congratulatory letter. “You have set the standard for others to follow through innovation, effective collaborative partnerships, and program accountability.”
As part of the award, Foundations for a Better Oregon will donate $1,000 on Hitz’s behalf to an organization of his choice that is dedicated to children or education in Oregon.
Orcilia Zuñiga Forbes was a founding board member of Foundations for a Better Oregon, a fierce champion for children and education in Oregon, and a dean of students at PSU. Foundations for a Better Oregon created this award to honor her life work and her tireless advocacy for moving the state forward.
Hitz, who announced he will retire at the end of the 2016–17 academic year, has been dean of the GSE since 2006 and is currently the longest-serving dean at PSU and the second-longest-serving dean of the GSE.