James Braxton Harris, ED.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “James Braxton Harris, ED.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48019.

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James Braxton Harris, ED.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage


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Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Leadership and Higher Education J. Braxton Harris (April 30, 1929-), a native North Carolinian, completed his A.B. degree in history (1949) at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, North Carolina, his M.A. degree in school administration (1956) at Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University), and his Ed.D. degree (1960) at Indiana University, Bloomington. While at Indiana University, he specialized in secondary and higher education, administration, and social science. Harris began his professional career as a teacher of history, English, and mathematics at Hildebran High School, Hildebran, North Carolina (1949-50). For the next three years, he served as a training officer and education specialist in the United States Air Force. Harris returned to the North Carolina public schools from 1953 to 1957, teaching at Francisco High and College Park Junior High. He accepted a position as assistant professor of education and psychology and assistant registrar at Appalachian State Teachers' College in 1958, leaving in 1964 to serve for four years as the college dean and registrar at Brevard College. He worked for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction from 1968 tol970, serving as assistant director for teacher education and director of pre-service teacher education. In 1970, Harris returned to Appalachian State as vice chancellor for student affairs and professor of higher education, positions he held for nine years. From 1979 to 1985, he continued to serve as professor and also held the posts of assistant dean of the College of Learning and Human Development (1980-83) and acting chair of the Department of Administration, Supervision and Higher Education (fall 1982). From 1985 to 1990, he was chair of the Department of Leadership and Higher Education. Harris retired and was named professor emeritus in March 1991. Dr. Harris' publications include: • "The Meaning and Pertinence of Educational Theory," School and Society, 99, no. 2333 (April 1971), 214-217. • "Some Differences in the Role of Theory in the Natural and SocioEthical Sciences," Brevard College Faculty Publications, 1967, 5-9. • "Joint Effort to Aid the Transfer Student," with Jay H. Ostwalt, Higher Education in North Carolina, L, no. 2, (July 26, 1966). • "The Nature of the General Education Movement," Faculty Publications, Appalachian State Teachers' College, 1964, 30-36. • North Carolina Association of College and Universities 1921-1986: A Short History of the Association and Its Leaders and Honorees, with Richard D. Howe, Boone, North Carolina: Appalachian State University, 1986. Dr. Harris also served as a consultant for the Division of School Planning of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. His committee memberships included the North Carolina Advisory Council on Teacher Education, the North Carolina Student Teaching Committee, the University of North Carolina Allied Health Committee, and the Task Force on Student Services of the North Carolina Consortium. In the community, Harris chaired the board of directors of Western Carolina Community Action, Inc., and has been a member of the official boards of the First Methodist Church of Hickory, North Carolina; the Boone United Methodist Church; and the Brevard Methodist Church. He also has served on the board of directors of the Appalachian and Raleigh Wesley Foundations and on the board of the Brevard Lions Club. Harris is an avid traveler, having visited Japan, England, France, Russia, Italy, the former East Germany, and most parts of the United States. Harris was granted emeritus status on March 15, 1991 by the Appalachian State University Board of Trustees. He is continuing his lifelong interest in writing. Writing under two pseudonyms in the 1990s and early twenty-first century, he has registered the copyrights for nine novels, six collections of song lyrics, and a brief collection of alliterative verse. Dr. Harris and his wife, Trudy, have jointly designed the last three homes in which they have lived. In the 1990s they designed and constructed a new family home on their wooded tract in Henderson County, primarily with their own labor. It has become a center where they experience the joys of staying in touch with their sons, daughters and their families. A small family archives building is currently emerging from a mix of fresh-sawn Eastern White Pine, empirical construction and design techniques, and sporadic contributed labor. Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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