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Anderson named chair of Gallaudet University Board of Trustees

Dr. Glenn Anderson, a professor in the Interpreter Education program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been named the chair of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.

“It is an honor and privilege to be invited once again to serve on the Board,” Anderson said. “I welcome the opportunity to work with the Board and the administration to fulfill Gallaudet University’s mission to ensure the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English.”

Gallaudet University is the world’s only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

“Dr. Anderson is one of the most respected leaders in our community and beyond,” said Claire Bugen, vice-chair of the board. “Dr. Anderson brings an incomparable wealth of experience and expertise that will be invaluable to our community. We are grateful for his continued service to Gallaudet and look forward to working with him.”

Throughout his career, Anderson has remained an active supporter of his alma mater. He previously served on Gallaudet’s Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2005 and chaired the board from 1994 to 2005. In 2017, Gallaudet awarded him the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during the university’s 147th commencement.

“We are pleased that Dr. Anderson is returning to the Board of Trustees as its chair at this pivotal time in our 156-year history,” Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano said. “Last spring, we faced head-on the global pandemic with strong leadership from our entire community. This summer, Gallaudet joined our nation and our world in a reckoning with systemic racism and redoubling our commitment by putting into place a multi-faceted anti-racism plan. As Chair of the Board, Dr. Anderson will lead us well with his vast expertise, wisdom, and experience.”

Anderson is a 12-year veteran of UA Little Rock. He joined the Interpreter Education faculty within the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation, and Adult Education at UA Little Rock in 2008, where he has had a prolific teaching career and continued to serve as an advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing.

His significant contributions to the black deaf community are undeniable. Anderson often guest lectures, make presentations and writes journal articles on black deaf history and linguistic variations among black American Sign Language users.

In 2018, Anderson received the Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service from UA Little Rock as well as the Humanitarian Award from Just Communities of Arkansas for his significant commitment to building inclusive communities.

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Anderson became deaf at the age of seven. Encountering barriers and obstacles during his childhood, his parents told him, “You have to be twice as good as anyone else to be successful.”

After beginning college as the only deaf student on a campus of 12,000 students at Northern Illinois University, Anderson encountered bias and discrimination as an African American deaf student and transferred to what was then Gallaudet College the following semester. Anderson excelled at Gallaudet, both academically and athletically. He majored in psychology and became involved in campus life. He joined the Student Body Government, wrote for The Buff and Blue student newspaper, and became a star on the basketball and track teams, earning him a place in the Gallaudet University Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Gallaudet, Anderson earned his master’s degree from the University of Arizona and his doctorate from New York University, both in rehabilitation counseling. He was the first known African-American deaf alumnus of Gallaudet University to earn a doctoral degree.

In 1982, Anderson began a 26-year career as director of training at the University of Arkansas’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Little Rock. He was also a professor in the University’s Department of Rehabilitation, Human Resources, and Communication Disorders, and coordinator of the master’s degree program in rehabilitation counseling with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Anderson was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush as a member of the National Council of Disability from 2002 to 2005. He published numerous articles in professional journals and books, including the 2006 book/DVD entitled, “Still I Rise! The Enduring Legacy of Black Deaf Arkansans Before & After Integration.” This year, he co-authored a book chapter, “Examining the Intersectionality of Deaf Identity, Race/Ethnicity, and Diversity through a Black Deaf Lens,” with Gallaudet faculty member Lindsay Dunn. The chapter was published in the book, “Deaf Identities: Exploring New Frontiers.”