Today, University of Washington Provost and Executive Vice President Ana Mari Cauce announced the appointment of long-time College of Education faculty member and distinguished researcher Deborah McCutchen as interim dean effective Sept. 8. McCutchen will take over leadership of the College from Professor Tom Stritikus, who has served as dean since 2010.

“Professor McCutchen fully has my trust and that of President Young, but perhaps most important, of her colleagues who highly recommended her to lead the College in this time of transition,” Cauce said.

McCutchen assumes her new role with the College at the strongest point in its history thanks to the College's outstanding faculty, dedicated school and district partners, and the leadership provided by Stritikus over the past four years. Earlier this year, UW was ranked as the No. 2 public college of education in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The College received grants and contracts totaling more than $24 million in the last fiscal year, nearly three times the amount received during FY2008. The College continues to conduct research that is responsive to the needs of local schools, with UW researchers working in more than 100 area schools. In addition, education students last year participated in more than 150,000 hours of practicum experiences in 142 Washington schools, district offices and nonprofits.

"The UW College of Education is in the vanguard of transforming teaching in our state and in our nation to make sure every student enjoys an outstanding education regardless of where they live," McCutchen said. "Our focus on addressing the most pressing issues in education and on building deep partnerships with schools and communities will continue unabated. Every child has a right to high quality education, and I look forward to pursuing this mission with our dedicated faculty, staff and friends."

McCutchen joined the College of Education in 1986 and has served as associate dean for research and faculty support since 2001. Her research has focused on the cognitive processes underlying reading and writing ability, with the goal of improving educational practice in those areas.  McCutchen has recently received funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to examine processes that enable children to expand their vocabulary through reading and expand their reading and writing skills.

A national search process to identify a new dean is underway, with a goal of having that individual in place by fall 2015. Cauce noted that the College's strengths and national profile ensure that the position will draw substantial interest.

Professor Sandy Archibald, Dean of the Evans School of Public Affairs, will chair the search committee and will gather input from partners including alumni, students, faculty and friends of the College throughout the search process.


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