New York State Education Chief Joins TC Faculty

Photograph: Thomas Sobol.

Thomas Sobol, who is stepping down this summer as New York State Commissioner of Education, will join the faculty of Teachers College as a Distinguished Visiting Professor this fall.

Sobol, who earned his Ed.D. degree at TC, is also leaving his position as president of the University of the State of New York. He has served in both positions since 1987.

Sobol's appointment--in the department of educational administration--is the first in a series that will bring widely known and highly experienced practitioners of education to TC classrooms.

He has been invited to serve as a faculty member at the College for a two-year term, which will be renewable.

"Tom Sobol will bring to the classroom a wealth of knowledge that is grounded in the reality of a career as an educational leader," said Arthur Levine, TC president. "It is that knowledge that will give our students a look at the actualities of educational decision-making and policy-making.

"Sobol's appointment is a critical step in realizing Teachers College's plan to reach out to professionals in many fields," Levine said, "from teachers to principals to superintendents to legislators and lawmakers. It is also important as the College plays an increasingly larger role in helping to shape the national conversation and agenda about education."

Prior to becoming Commissioner of Education, Sobol was superintendent of schools in Scarsdale, N.Y. He had been named to that position in 1971.

A native of Boston, Sobol attended Boston Latin School and then Harvard, where he majored in English. He earned a master's degree at Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

He earned his Ed.D. degree at TC in 1969, writing his dissertation on educational decision-making in a suburban school district.

Sobol was one of the inaugural members of the TC Alumni Council, a group that represents the College's alumni in consultation with administrators and faculty members.

Columbia University Record -- May 26, 1995 -- Vol. 20, No. 30