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Wayne State University names Carolyn Shields dean of the College of Education

Shields joins WSU from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

January 24, 2011

Wayne State Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ronald Brown announced the appointment of Carolyn Shields as dean of the College of Education effective July 1.

Shields, who most recently served as a professor in the Department of Educational Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, earned a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

"With nearly 20 years of experience in K-12 education and numerous feats in the post-secondary sector, Carolyn Shields is an ideal candidate to lead the College of Education at Wayne State University," Provost Brown said. "Her dedication to diversity and social justice, and her success implementing a transformative approach to education leadership, demonstrate that she is truly the right person for the job."

Shields is past president of the Canadian Association for Studies in Educational Administration and former Canadian representative to the Board of the Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management.

In Canada, Shields was appointed to government advisory committees and worked with local principals' and vice-principals' organizations. At the University of British Columbia (UBC), she served as department head, was an elected member of the UBC senate, and was the founding director of the School Leadership Centre at UBC.

Outside of North America, Shields has worked with school leaders in China and in the United Arab Emirates, and is regularly invited to present keynote addresses at international conferences. Since 2000, Shields has authored seven books and more than 100 articles, and made dozens of conference presentations focusing on leadership for social justice and academic excellence.

She is the recipient of numerous accolades for education leadership and service, including the American Educational Research Association's LSJ SIG's Teaching for Social Justice Award in 2010 and the 2009 Lifetime Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Association for Studies in Educational Administration. 

"My passion is to infuse education with a vision of social justice and democratic citizenship," said Shields. "Our charge, as researchers and as educators, is to identify bold new strategies for meeting the academic needs of all children. As a premiere research university located in the heart of Detroit, Wayne State is uniquely positioned to break new ground in the national quest to improve America's public schools and find solutions to the most pressing educational challenges facing our country. I am honored and thrilled to embrace this opportunity to join the faculty at Wayne State."

Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.