Davenport University names founding dean for College of Urban Education


Andre Perry. Courtesy Davenport University

Davenport University is developing a new College of Urban Education.

Grand Rapids public schools partnerhsip

The program is enabled by a $200,000 grant from the Steelcase Foundation for the school to form a national advisory committee and develop a proposed master’s degree program with Grand Rapids Public Schools.

The program will be designed to “change how teachers and education leaders are prepared for service in urban K-12 settings,” Davenport said.

Davenport University has brought Andre Perry on board to be the founding dean of the new college.

“We want to congratulate and thank Davenport University for their vision and leadership with the hiring of Dr. Perry and the formation of the new College of Urban Education,” said Teresa Weatherall Neal, GRPS superintendent. “Davenport has been a longstanding partner with GRPS, particularly with our Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program school, which is why it is a natural fit for this initiative to take place at the new Innovation Central High.”

“We are very excited Dr. Perry has agreed to lead our efforts to develop a new College of Urban Education, and we are grateful for the grant from the Steelcase Foundation that will help us get started,” said Richard Pappas, Davenport University president.

“Dr. Perry’s expertise and experience will be instrumental in developing a prestigious advisory committee, featuring top names from across the country,” Pappas said. “The advisory committee, as well as the strong partnership we will build with GRPS, will result in the creation of an innovative, pioneering College of Urban Education.”

"The Miseducation of a City"

Perry is the former associate dean of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of New Orleans and CEO of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter Network.

Perry, author of “The Garden Path: The Miseducation of a City,” has served in many areas of education leadership over the years, including at the Student Leadership Institute for the Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program, the Maryland Institute for Minority Achievement and Urban Education and the Office of Human Relations at the University of Maryland.

He received his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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