About Ernest L. Boyer
Ernest L. Boyer, Sr.
A Leader of Educators, An Educator of Leaders
1928 - 1995
"Without doubt, Ernie Boyer has been the towering intellectual giant of American education over the last quarter ofa century," Robert H. Atwell, former president of the American Council for Education, said recently. "His influence on every aspect of the nation's schools and colleges has been extensive and profound."
His counsel was likewise sought by those across a wide political spectrum. Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Jimmy Carter all appointed him to serve on their national education commissions.
Newly elected President Carter looked to Ernest Boyer to become his U.S. Commissioner of Education, a post in which Boyer served until 1979. In that post, Boyer passionately articulated the need for policies to give children who needed it a helping hand. He called for greater access, equity for all students, and excellence in all the nations' public schools.
Commissioner Boyer was concerned about all students, President Carter recalled, noting, "He feared that too many young people felt unwanted, unneeded, and unconnected to the larger world. He argued that American schools must be places that help students understand the meaning of their lives and connect them to their community." Commissioner Boyer, President Carter said, "not only advocated community service projects for students, but he also advocated an increased dedication to public service by university faculty. Scholarship, in his opinion, must include application of knowledge, as well as research, teaching, and integration of knowledge."