Skip to main content

College of Education to Establish Goodnight Distinguished Professorship in Early Literacy

Belltower lit red

NC State’s College of Education is establishing the Goodnight Distinguished Professorship in Early Literacy thanks to a gift from longtime NC State supporters Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight. The professorship will support the activities of a professor who focuses on teaching the science of reading in early literacy. 

“We’re grateful for the continued support of the Goodnights. With this new investment, they’re making it possible for us to attract a nationally recognized thought leader in early literacy to our college and further enhance our strong core of literacy faculty,” said Paola Sztajn, dean of NC State’s College of Education. “Our faculty lead the way in North Carolina in preparing highly effective teachers who meet or exceed expected growth in early literacy based on state standards.” 

The Goodnights are NC State alumni and were co-chairs of the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, which concluded on Dec. 31, 2022. Jim Goodnight —the founder and CEO of SAS — earned his B.S. in applied mathematics in 1965, his M.S. and doctorate in statistics in 1968 and 1972, respectively, and the university conferred an honorary degree to him in 2002. Ann Goodnight earned her B.A. in political science in 1968, works as the senior director of community relations at SAS and serves on the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees.

Their commitment to faculty excellence has resulted in the creation of 28 named faculty positions, a deanship, a program to invest in early-career faculty and support for additional endowed professorship funds. The Goodnights previously made a gift to the College of Education that endowed the Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Educational Equity. Maria Coady, Ph.D.,—one of the nation’s leading experts on English language and multilingual learners— joined NC State as the inaugural Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Educational Equity in August 2022. 

A national search for the Goodnight Distinguished Professorship in Early Literacy will begin immediately.