October 4, 2017

Ackerman Center director and professor of social studies education appointed to faculty athletic representative position

President Mitch Daniels has appointed Phillip VanFossen, Purdue’s James F. Ackerman Distinguished Professor of Social Studies Education, as the newest faculty athletic representative.

“Purdue and the Big Ten hold student-athletes to high standards, and we rely on the faculty athletic representatives to help meet and maintain those standards,” Daniels says. “I am delighted that Phil VanFossen, an outstanding leader of the university community, has accepted the role.”

The faculty athletic representative, who reports directly to the president, serves as part of the 18-member Athletic Affairs Committee, which reviews and makes recommendations on the sufficiency of academic support resources available to the student-athletes; ensures that the highest standards of academic integrity are applied across athletic programs; monitors the time demands for practice and competition placed on the student-athletes; and oversees the student disciplinary process when such cases arise.

In collaboration with the athletics director and his staff, the Athletic Affairs Committee frequently is called upon to review and monitor Purdue’s compliance with guidelines issued by the Big Ten and the NCAA.

VanFossen replaces Jeffrey T. Bolin, who had served as faculty athletic representative since 2003.

“Jeff Bolin served as one of our faculty athletic representatives with distinction and provided valuable oversight during a period in which intercollegiate athletics was under increased scrutiny. I am certain that Professor VanFossen will continue the same kind of unwavering commitment to our university’s student-athletes and programs,” Daniels says.

VanFossen has been a member of the College of Education faculty since 1997 and currently serves as director of the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship. His research focuses on K-12 economic education, internet use in social studies classrooms, and the impact of technology on citizenship education. He has published more than 80 scholarly works, including three books, and seven co-authored volumes of classroom curricula, and has been included in three handbooks. At Purdue, VanFossen has served in various leadership roles throughout the College of Education, including head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and interim associate dean for learning. He also serves as the associate director of the Purdue Center for Economic Education.

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Miami University and holds a doctorate in social studies/global education, economics, and teacher education from Ohio State University. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Purdue Faculty Scholar Award, the Profound Impact Award from Miami University, and most recently, the Kehler Technology Award from the National Council for Economic Education. 


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