Great Books Foundation Names New President

Great Books Foundation Names New President

Chicago, IL

The Great Books Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization, welcomes Joseph P. Coulson, Ph.D., as president effective August 11, 2014. Coulson brings more than 20 years of educational experience, including teaching, administration, and curriculum development, and is also a recognized essayist, novelist, poet, and playwright.

"The work of the Great Books Foundation is more important today than ever before. Literacy is in decline and the humanities are under siege, but fighting the good fight are the staff, teachers, students, and lifelong learners who each day advance the methods and programs of Junior Great Books and the Foundation as a whole," says Coulson. "I know by experience that the dedicated practice of close reading, shared inquiry, and civil discourse is an important antidote for what ails our society. The Foundation began as a force for humanistic values, for the discussion of great literature and great ideas in the service of creating common ground. I look back to that inspiration and look forward to the difference we can make in the lives of our students and lifelong supporters. To be the new president of the Great Books Foundation is a considerable responsibility, one that I accept with passion and humility."

Coulson's arrival follows the retirement of George L. Schueppert who served as the Foundation's president for 12 years. "Thanks to the leadership and fiscal guidance of George Schueppert, the Foundation is in a strong position to further expand its mission," says Coulson. "We are most grateful for his heartfelt commitment and dedication, and we look forward to his continuing and essential role as a member of our Board of Directors."

Coulson's educational background and professional experience are a valued addition to the Foundation's executive office. He studied at Wayne State University and Oxford University, and he holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Coulson has served as a classroom teacher, English department chair, senior administrator, English professor, and director of teacher training and professional development. He previously worked at the Great Books Foundation from 1999-2003 as senior editor, editorial director, and chief of staff. As an instructor and school administrator, Coulson was named a Master Teacher, served for several years as a Mentor Teacher and curriculum consultant, and worked to develop comprehensive teacher-training programs.