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Search committee seeks new School of Education dean

January 29, 2015 By Käri Knutson

The search for the next dean of the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Education is officially underway.

In November, Dean Julie Underwood announced that she would step aside from her post in August 2015 to return to the faculty. Underwood has been dean since August 2005, with a short break in those duties from January to July 2009 when she served as UW–Madison’s interim provost.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as dean of the School of Education for 10 years,” says Underwood. “I intend to remain active in UW life and continue working as a member of the faculty.”

A 17-member search committee chaired by David Kaplan, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, is seeking candidates for the role.

“We are looking for a nationally recognized education scholar who can lead our top-ranked School of Education,” Kaplan says. “The ideal candidate is one who has a deep appreciation for the varieties of education scholarship and who can further strengthen the School of Education’s continuing commitment to the Wisconsin Idea.”

Other members of the search and screen committee include assistant director of the Wei LAB LaVar Charleston, education leadership and policy analysis Associate Professor John Diamond, kinesiology Professor Gary Diffee, senior administrative program specialist in the Division of Continuing Studies Julie Klein, academic department supervisor in rehabilitation psychology and special education John Loeffelholz, astronomy Professor Robert Mathieu, biomedical engineering Professor Beth Meyerand, university service program assistant at WCER Mary Mezera, student representative Anna Nikolay, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction Simone Schweber, Wisconsin Deputy State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Thompson, dean and director, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Kathryn VandenBosch, student representative Kathy Villalon, associate professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs Geoffrey Wallace, rehabilitation psychology and special education Professor Kimber Wilkerson, and Dance Department Professor Jin-Wen Yu.

The School of Education is consistently ranked as one of the top schools of education in the nation and is currently the No. 1 public School of Education. Nine programs in the school are ranked in the top three. The school comprises nine academic departments, two major research units, including the nationally recognized Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and an array of outreach services. The school also has a separate supporting nonprofit organization — the Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services.

The dean, who reports to the chancellor through the provost, serves as the chief academic and executive officer of the school with responsibilities in the areas of staffing, budget, curriculum, student academic affairs, and space, as well as fundraising and alumni relations. The school employs approximately 137 faculty, 171 instructional staff, 401 academic staff and limited appointments, and 94 classified staff.