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Dr. Robert Lee serves as Illinois State University’s Executive Director of Statewide Urban Programs and Partnerships and is the Founding Director of its Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline, an urban teacher education program that is grounded in social justice and works to cultivate and sustain innovative, resilient, and effective educators for urban schools and their communities.
During his tenure at ISU, Dr. Lee has leveraged over $25 million of federal, state, city and foundation funding to initiate, develop, and sustain partnership programs between the university’s five teacher producing colleges, school districts across the state (Chicago, Decatur, and Peoria), various non-profit and community-based organizations, and corporations who together are collectively working toward developing culturally responsive teachers for urban schools and their communities. This collaborative model of urban teacher recruitment and preparation has raised teacher quality to improve school progress and student achievement; transformed public schools into community-driven learning centers; and has been lauded as an “exemplary cultural immersion teacher education model” by the U.S. Department of Education.
Prior to joining ISU in 2004, Dr. Lee consulted on projects with the Office of Language and Cultural Education at Chicago Public Schools Central Office, and in partnership with DePaul’s Center for Urban Education he directed the Global Educators Outreach (GEO) Program to recruit and prepare foreign nationals from over 25 countries to teach in Chicago’s highest need schools.