COE: Jerome Ellis Morris
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Dr. Jerome E. Morris is the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education (in conjunction with St. Louis Public Schools) and a Research Fellow with the Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. His research is grounded in sociology, anthropology, school reform, and urban studies and his investigations have been based in urban and suburban centers. As a social scientist, Dr. Morris’ scholarship reflects a deep and abiding familiarity with communities, families, and schools. The nexus of race, social class, and place is a major theme of Dr. Morris’ scholarship, and he has been in the forefront of highlighting the centrality of the U.S. South in understanding Black people’s experiences.

Since arriving to St. Louis in August 2015, Dr. Morris has begun researching the meaning of the area’s decades-long desegregation plan for race and opportunity in Greater St. Louis, as well as leading a multi-regional (South, West, Midwest) investigation of the academic and racial socialization of Black students for STEM fields.

From 1997-2015, Dr. Morris served as Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor in the College of Education and Research Fellow with the Institute for Behavioral Research at the University of Georgia where he directed the “Race, Class, Place and Outcomes Research Group” and the “Interdisciplinary Research Project for Communities and Schools.”

Morris’s research studies provide empirically grounded models for understanding race and education in post-Brown America—and for seeking new solutions to advance quality schooling. He is the author of Troubling the Waters: Fulfilling the Promise of Quality Public Schooling for Black Children (2009, Teachers College Press)—based on empirical research in communities and schools in St. Louis and Atlanta. From 2006-2011, Dr. Morris researched achievement-gap related issues in a predominantly black suburban school district in Atlanta. Sponsored by the Spencer Foundation’s Major Research Grant Program, the longitudinal investigation was unique, given that most studies on the achievement gap have been based in urban and low-income settings—or in predominantly white, middle class settings. He has published extensively in leading research and practitioner journals such as the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Educational Researcher, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Educational Policy, Urban Education, and Kappan. He served as the guest editor for a 2015 issue of the Peabody Journal of Education focusing on “Race and Opportunity in the American South.”

Dr. Morris’s honors include the 2014 William A. Owens Research Award by the University of Georgia’s Research Foundation, the 2011 Feldman Award from the Groves Foundation for researching the displacement of families and students after Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 UGA Creative Research Medal, and the 2009 Russell Yeany Research Award.

Dr. Morris has been a leader at the local, university, state, and national levels. He is a co-founder of Education for Liberation—a national coalition of teachers, community activists, researchers, youth and parents. Dr. Morris served as a member of the Ford Foundation’s Secondary Education and Racial Justice Collaborative. While the President of the Black Faculty and Staff Organization at the University of Georgia, he spearheaded a campus-wide effort that resulted in the creation of the Office of Institutional Diversity at UGA. He is a member of the American Educational Research Association and the American Sociological Association.