A Letter from the Dean

Stephanie_Rowley_UVA NEW_412x412.jpgAs I embark on my first weeks as Dean of the School of Education and Human Development, I wanted to take a moment to share how excited and honored I am to begin this journey in Charlottesville with you. I am already energized by the warm and supportive welcome from the amazing EHD community and I am looking forward to our work together. While UVA is my alma mater and I hold much about this community near and dear to my heart, the decision to join you was based on much more. During my interview, I was excited to learn about UVA’s exploration of the role of public education, democracy, and equity. President Ryan’s commitment to innovative research that addresses the biggest problems facing the world also resonates with me. The EHD faculty are at the center of many of these initiatives and that added to my eagerness to join you and get involved.

It’s been 25 years since I walked the Lawn at graduation, and as you may imagine, I have a lot to learn. I plan to spend my first year as Dean meeting the members of our community to learn about what is needed in the school and in our broader community. I am as interested in learning about what makes EHD special as I am in learning about what needs to be evaluated and redesigned or fixed.

I look forward to setting a vision for the school that reflects collaboration among myself, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other members of our community. While I was already familiar with much of the cutting-edge scholarship of the faculty, the search process gave me a sense of the professionalism and deep expertise of the EHD staff. During my interview, I also gained some insights into the strength of EHD students, and I’ve already received so many emails from current and former students of the school who shared with me the impact that their time in the school has had on their lives and careers. I’m excited about the foundation we have to build on here.

I consider myself a mission and values-driven leader. I look forward to sharing my values with you but I am also eager to develop a new set of shared values and priorities that reflect the needs of EHD. This will guide our work toward a more equitable and inclusive school where everyone is able to thrive as well as our continued aims related to innovation and impact.

My transition to UVA has already been made easier by the generous help of your current leaders. The associate deans and department chairs have provided me with material that has helped me better understand areas of innovation and growth, administrative structures, budgets, hiring plans, and so much more. I am especially grateful to Bob for meeting with me regularly to give me the lay of the land. His 15-year stewardship of the school is apparent in every corner and so I am also appreciative of his work.

I hope you all take time this summer to rejuvenate and spend time with friends and family. Thank you for warmly welcoming me. I’m excited to get to know you!

School Leadership