Jim Andris (James Fernand Andris) retired from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville on September 1, 2003. He was granted emeritus status following a diverse and challenging career spanning 33 years.
He came to SIUE in September, 1970, while still completing a doctorate in philosophy of education at Indiana University. At IU he had continued his study with Elizabeth Steiner Maccia, which study was begun during his undergraduate years. He was also fortunate to study with well-known people in the foundations of education: Phil Smith, Stafford Clayton, Stanley Ballinger, and George Maccia. Graduate and undergraduate study at Marietta College and The Ohio State University had made him conversant with mathematics and the natural and social sciences.
For roughly his first ten years at SIUE, he taught philosophy of education and foundations of education to pre-service teachers and wrote a couple of significant papers on the philosophical analysis of teaching. He completed his doctorate in January, 1974 and was promoted to assistant professor. In the late 1970's and very early 1980's he did also coordinate the masters level research course for many years, taught curriculum and instruction in the doctoral core, and supervised secondary education student teachers, even coordinated the first quarter secondary student teaching experience for one year. He achieved promotion to associate professor in 1979.
Starting about 1980, Jim gradually retrained to teach computer applications for educators, eventually transferring to the instructional technology program area. In 1986 he began a six year stint as Coordinator of Computer Resources for the School of Education under Dean Gary Hull. That period saw Jim and others lead the development of a campus computer lab serving education, nursing and some social sciences. This collaborative computer lab structure became a model for the structure of other academic computing clusters for the next 15 years. During this period he developed several courses and rewrote others, including ones on desktop publishing and instruction; computer networks and education; visual literacy, technology and education; and authoring educational software.
When in 1992 the computer clusters were administratively centralized, he returned to full time teaching. As a part of this assignment, he continued to work with many SIUE School of Education instructors in Curriculum and Instruction to assure that several undergraduate teacher education programs conformed to state and professional standards. He wrote and received several state and private grants and furthered the School of Education's collaboration with several other Illinois higher educational institutions in the development of approaches to promulgating the use of technology in K-12 education. His "LEAPINGS" program attained local and state recognition for a time. He worked with Prof. Mary Polite and others to develop an innovative site-based teacher education program at North Middle School in Godfrey, Il. and later under Dean Polite to extend this model to some other School of Education field-based teacher education programs in area schools.
In the 1990's Jim was a frequent presenter at local, regional and national technology and education conferences, and represented SIUE in an area technology collaborative for several years. He also worked with Prof. Dave Winnett and others to deliver over 100 workshops for area school districts in such topics as the classroom use of the internet, webquests and web publishing. In the 1980's Jim had similarly given over 100 workshops in computer literacy to area school teachers. He also taught off-campus courses and workshops throughout his career in such "remote" Illinois locations as Carlinville, Morrisonville, Taylorville, Bunker Hill, Sparta, Vandalia, Effingham, Highland, Alton, East Alton, Bethalto, Roxana, Wood River, Jerseyville, Girard, Staunton, East St. Louis, Venice, Belleville, Redbud, Columbia, and closer ones like Edwardsville, Troy, Glen Carbon and Collinsville.
In 1999 he was promoted to full professor and became program director for instructional technology for the last five years of his tenure at SIUE. His final formal presentation in Skövde, Sweden, The impact of quantum theoretical models of consciousness on the study of education, returned to the philosophy and science background of his past and can be found on his website.
Jim was a voice for tolerance and diversity on campus. He worked long and hard to get a statement of nondiscrimination against gays and lesbians into the original 1977 SIUE Affirmative Action plan, and you can see his hand in the University's current "Diversity Plan." It was he who proposed the ACCORD model to HRAC subcommittee working on the plan. He wrote frequent articles on the fair treatment of gays and lesbians in the Alestle during the 1970's and later, and he tirelessly confronted the hate babble that occasionally dribbled from this or that campus voice. From 1974-1985 he worked with many community organizations supporting gays and lesbians, including The Gay Academic Union, Metropolitan Community Church, The Gay Hotline, and PFLAG. He was heard along with Byron Davidson on the radio show "Gaytalk" on KADI in the late 1970's.
And, just for the sake of completeness, let's not forget that Jim did his share for music, playing keyboard in area rock, dixieland and jazz bands in the 1970s, and later penning and performing his own songs in a number of genres for many years. He continues to play ragtime in his retirement.
Jim Andris has a considerable web presence, and some of it is actually useful and/or interesting (to those who have ears to hear). His genealogy website has a world-wide readership, as does, for some inexplicable reason, his recipe for fried red cabbage. For several years, jim maintained a rather philosophically inclined limited-readership blog called Of Course It's Boring, Idiot. For the past six years, he has actively maintained his Facebook page daily, and he is currently working on reentering the blogosphere. His Twitter account is @tunesmithjim.
Since Nov. 9, 1984 he has been happily, even if not yet legally, married to Stephen Nichols and continues to be involved at Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis, where their relationship was blessed on May 15, 1993. He and Stephen are very proud of the fact that Stephen's daughter, Stephanie and her partner, Dawn are now legally married in Massachusetts, and are rearing a son. Jim looks to the day when the State of Illinois will take the only morally acceptable step of recognizing his partner, Stephen, as his legal survivor. BINGO. That date is set to be Aug. 12, 2011. The State of Illinois passed legislation that made Illinois Civil Unions possible starting June 1, 2011. And finally, Jim and Stephen were married on August 12, 2014 at the Madison County Court House.