Executive Director Transition Announcement

Education Systems Center at NIU (EdSystems) today announces that Founder and Executive Director Jonathan Furr will be transitioning from his role as of June 2023 after nearly eleven years of building and leading the organization. Jon will be pursuing new professional opportunities, which he will share in the coming weeks.

Jon founded EdSystems in 2012 as a mission-driven policy development and program implementation center based within Northern Illinois University’s Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development. During his tenure, Jon has positioned EdSystems as a highly visible and impactful driver of Illinois policy relating to college and career pathways, college and career readiness, and integrated education and workforce data systems. He led a multi-year process to develop and enact the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act, which applies a student-centered and competency-based approach to support Illinois students in preparing for postsecondary education and careers. Since the PWR Act’s 2016 passage, Jon and his EdSystems colleagues have spearheaded its implementation, including scaling robust college and career pathway models, building a new statewide system for transitional instruction courses that reduce college remediation needs, and delivering deep support for leading regions to align education and workforce delivery systems. He has driven innovation through work-based learning, competency-based education, state- and community-level data systems, the launch and growth of the Illinois Education and Career Success Network, and more. 

The EdSystems team is grateful for Jon’s innovative vision, equity-centered approach, thoughtful collaboration, and strong leadership over the last decade, and we wish him well with his future endeavors. EdSystems is well-positioned to continue to thrive and serve as a unique catalyst for launching and scaling important education and workforce policies and programs in Illinois.

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