October 3, 2023

From university communication

Diana Hess, who has served as dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education since 2015, announced today that she will return to the faculty in summer 2024 and leave a legacy of growth, excellence, and innovation at one of the nation’s finest universities. announced. Famous educational school.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the School of Education is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top education schools, currently in third place, and 10 of the department’s graduate programs are ranked in the top 15 in the nation. ing. During Dean Hess’ tenure, the school’s number of undergraduate and graduate majors increased by 25% of his time, and student credit hours increased by nearly 60% of his time over the same period.

The School of Education has 10 departments: Fine Arts, Counseling Psychology, Curriculum and Instruction, Dance, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy Studies, Educational Psychology, Kinesiology, Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, Theater and Theater . It also includes the Wisconsin Educational Research Center, one of the first and most productive educational research centers in the world.

dean diana hess
dean diana hess

“Diana was an innovative and effective leader for the School of Education and campus. She made a lasting impact on education, human services, and the arts across the state and beyond, serving as a mentor to many other campus leaders. ” said Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin. “We are grateful for her outstanding service and her commitment to the Wisconsin Idea, and we look forward to her continued leadership of the Discussion Project.”

“Serving as Dean of the School of Education and working with our amazing staff, faculty, students, and alumni has been a highlight of my career. Their efforts have enabled the School to offer new and innovative academic programs, expand, and “We were able to strengthen the impact of our research and artistic contributions and deliver on the promise of the Wisconsin Initiative,” said Hess.

“Princess Diana was a passionate and influential leader,” said President Charles Isbell. “Although I did not have the opportunity to work with her for long, I am grateful for her work as dean and for the support and advice she gave me during my own transition period.” I look forward to great work in the future.”

In August 2020, the Faculty of Education launched Impact 2030, an ambitious initiative to strengthen schools that already have a strong reputation. Designed to push the boundaries of innovation, research and creativity in preparation for the school’s 100th anniversary in 2030, the program will deliver increased student scholarships, enhanced support for faculty and staff, and a superior learning experience for students. It consists of four pillars: ensuring access to , helping to solve Wisconsin’s teacher shortage.

One of Impact 2030’s innovations is the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education’s Teacher Pledge. It uses donations to provide students for any of her 15 teachers at the school with the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, as well as exam and licensing fees. An educational program that requires students to commit to remaining in Wisconsin and teaching for three to four years after graduation.

More than 725 College of Education graduates or current students have taken the pledge, and pledgers currently teach in 88 public school districts and private schools across Wisconsin.

Hess considers this to be one of the most innovative programs he has been involved with during his time as dean.

“This is a new way to address the severe teacher shortage here in Wisconsin and has the potential to be a model across the state and beyond,” she says.

During her tenure as dean, the School of Education raised $112 million, created 12 new professorships and 18 faculty fellowships, and dramatically increased scholarship support for undergraduate and graduate students. increased to The school launched its Dean’s Excellence Scholarship Initiative in 2022, which has so far provided 135 undergraduate students with four-year scholarships in the arts, health and education fields.

Eric Wilcotts, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Letters and Sciences, called Hess “an outstanding leader and colleague.”

“Her efforts, such as the Discussion Project and the Teacher Pledge, are already having a tremendous impact,” Wilcots said. “I learned a lot from her as a fellow dean. I really enjoyed working with her on different priorities, even when the circumstances were difficult. And she was just She is a great friend and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

Mr Hess said a priority for the deanship was to establish a “one school mentality” to ensure all departments of the school received excellent support and were encouraged to collaborate and collaborate.

Faisal Abdullah, professor of printmaking and Chazen Family Fine Arts Distinguished Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said Hess collaborates across multiple disciplines: education, health, and art, much like an artist approaches collage. He says he is working on it.

“What she was able to do is understand how to use creativity to bring all of our worlds together,” Abdulallah says. “Like the great surrealist writers, she was able to combine her three very different elements to create a coherent vision that creates the conditions for excellence to flourish.”

Hess, the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Professor of Education, focuses her research on examining how teachers engage students in discussions about highly controversial political and constitutional issues. I have guessed.

After stepping down as dean, Mr. Hess will continue to lead discussion projects. Since its founding in 2017, the project has provided intensive professional development on how to create more engaging and inclusive classroom discussions. The Discussion Project already serves her 1,200 instructors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and other campuses, as well as teachers at schools across the United States and abroad. Hess will also focus on co-authoring a book about the project with Lynne Glück.

An internationally recognized scholar, Hess was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2019. Prior to his appointment as dean, he served as executive vice president of the Spencer Foundation.

Hess earned a PhD from the University of Washington, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University. Hess joined UC Madison as an assistant professor in 1999 after beginning his career in education as a high school social studies teacher.

The search for the next dean of the School of Education will begin this fall.

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