Jennifer K. RiceDear College of Education community,

As my first year as dean of the College of Education comes to a close, I am proud of the many accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students this year. We are building our capacity to have ever increasing impact in our schools, districts, state, and scholarly communities, and this translates into a strong foundation for growth and advancement in the years ahead.

The College of Education, as part of the flagship university for the state of Maryland, is a leader in the education field and a prominent source of evidence-based research on issues that affect students, educators, schools and communities throughout the state and nation. Several new initiatives launched this year – the Dean’s Lecture on Education and Society, as well as our new centers – are helping to raise our visibility on campus and throughout higher education and to establish the COE as the “go-to” resource for expertise in education and human development

The inaugural Dean’s Lecture on Education and Society, held this April, featured Visiting Professor John B. King, Jr., a former U.S. Secretary of Education and the president and CEO of The Education Trust. Dr. King presented on the civic mission of higher education in challenging times. The topic of civic education is important across the Maryland campus, as well as on campuses nationwide, as we grapple with complex issues surrounding free speech, democratic engagement and diversity and inclusion. I look forward to continuing to highlight our innovative work on civic engagement, as well as to subsequent Dean’s Lectures that engage our community in thoughtful discourse around challenging issues related to education and society.

Our two new centers in the College are off to a great start. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education hosted a very successful inaugural thought leaders summit in January. The Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement has been an effective mechanism for fostering research-practice partnerships through a number of high-profile convenings with national scholars, district superintendents, state leaders, and national policy makers. These meetings create opportunities for new and bolstered partnerships that enhance our impact on higher education and K12 policy, practice, and research.

Many of our achievements this year – from the launch of the Dean’s Lecture Series to bolstering partnerships through research centers –  align with the goals developed for the College of Education’s new Strategic Plan. With the help of dedicated faculty, staff and students within the College, our five-year Strategic Plan is almost ready for dissemination. I am proud of the progress we have made on this significant undertaking, as we think critically about how to move the College of Education forward, both through advancing our existing good work and through identifying new opportunities for innovation and growth.

Our accomplishments this year, including the development of the Strategic Plan, would not have been possible without the steadfast support and enthusiastic engagement of the College of Education community. The high participation rate in the Thriving Workplace Initiative survey, our highly-attended College retreat, and our record contributions to Giving Day all reflect the commitment of our community to growing the College of Education.

I am grateful for everyone’s work this year and look forward to building on our successes in subsequent years.

Best wishes for a wonderful summer,

Jennifer King Rice
Dean and Professor
University of Maryland College of Education