Raleigh, NC – Hiller A. Spires will be the interim director for the NC State College of Education’s William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation effective Aug. 1, 2018, until a permanent director is appointed. Spires, who is a professor of literacy education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, served as the founding director of the Friday Institute from 2002 to 2006 and currently is a senior research fellow of the organization.

“Dr. Spires has a deep understanding of the Friday Institute and the importance of its relationships with key stakeholders in North Carolina. Her familiarity with the staff and knowledge of the internal workings of the Friday Institute make her ideal for this position,” said Dean Mary Ann Danowitz. “She will provide the stability and continuity needed at the Friday Institute as we conduct a national search for a permanent director.”

Spires will work with current Friday Institute Executive Director Dr. Glenn Kleiman to transition into her new role.

“I look forward to working closely with Hiller on a smooth transition that will ensure continued support of all the important work the Friday Institute is doing,” said Kleiman.  “Hiller has been a key contributor to the Friday Institute from the start. She understands and helped create our culture, supports our work, and brings great energy, passion and ability to this role.”

Spires’ research, which has brought in approximately $10M over the years, focuses on how teachers engage culturally and academically diverse students in disciplinary and digital literacies. As the founding director of the New Literacies Collaborative, she has conducted workshops with thousands of teachers in North Carolina nationally and internationally. She recently helped create a state-of-the-art school in Suzhou, China, and edited Digital Transformation and Innovation in Chinese Education, published by IGI Global.

Spires also leads the New Literacies and Global Learning graduate program, including the Graduate Literacy Cohort, which graduates its second group in May 2018.

Since joining NC State in 1987, Spires has received numerous awards and recognition, including NC State’s Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor, Centennial Campus Partnership Award, Jackson A. Rigney International Service Award, and the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology. She has been a member of the Academy of Outstanding Faculty in Engagement and Extension since 1997. She received a Change Leadership Fellowship from the Harvard Business School and a Leading Creatively Fellowship from the Center for Creative Leadership.

Spires received her Ph.D and M.A. in Literacy and English Education, respectively, from the University of South Carolina. Her Bachelor of Science in English Education is from Tennessee Temple University.

As interim director, Spires will oversee the work of the Friday Institute and serve on the search committee to select a permanent director.


The Friday Institute advances K-12 education through innovation in teaching, learning and leadership. Bringing together educational professionals, researchers, policy-makers, and other community members, The Friday Institute is a center for fostering collaborations to improve education. They conduct research, develop educational resources, provide professional development programs for educators, advocate to improve teaching and learning, and help inform policy-making. Visit fi.ncsu.edu to learn more.