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Faculty and Staff

Remembering Former Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Diversity Paul F. Bitting

Dr. Paul F. Bitting, a former longtime faculty member in NC State’s College of Education and a lifelong advocate for educational access and opportunity, recently passed away. Bitting was a member of the College of Education’s faculty for about 30 years and retired in 2016 as associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development. He also served as the college’s assistant dean for diversity from 2006-2007. 

Bitting devoted his career to helping others thrive and harnessing a passion for lifelong learning. He graduated from North Carolina Central University before moving to New York. There, shaped by the height of the Civil Rights Movement, he began his career as a social worker before becoming a middle school teacher during a teacher’s strike in 1968. He taught for several years and then became an assistant principal in Brooklyn. He earned another bachelor’s degree and his first master’s degree from St. John’s College in 1974 and then a Master of Science in Education from the City University of New York in 1975. 

“During that time, I was forced to confront my own biases and prejudices, and reconcile my interests as a philosopher and an educator,” Bitting said when he retired. 

Bitting returned to North Carolina and completed a Master of Arts in Philosophy and then a Ph.D. in the philosophy of education from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1985. Soon after, he joined NC State’s College of Education as an assistant professor in what was then the Department of Educational Leadership and Program Evaluation. He focused on researching and teaching ethics, moral education and development, and multicultural and indigenous education. 

Throughout his distinguished time in the College of Education, Dr. Bitting was known for mentoring students, faculty, and other professionals; and he inspired conversations around the need to produce culturally competent graduates that still influences the College of Education today. As assistant dean for diversity, he also led efforts to create a climate survey for faculty and developed a framework for a college-wide curriculum audit.

Throughout his career, Bitting was guided by one question: “How do we best educate our children?”

His answer? “If you want to truly educate children — to get them to develop an ability to think critically and reflectively — you need empathy, which is key to creating equity.”

This post was originally published in College of Education News.