Whitford named dean of Auburn University College of Education

AUBURN – Betty Lou Whitford, dean of the College of Education and Human Development and professor of education at the University of Southern Maine, has been named dean of Auburn University’s College of Education, effective Aug. 1.

“Dr. Whitford brings to Auburn a deep commitment to research and outreach in education,” Auburn Provost Mary Ellen Mazey said. “She is a leader in the areas of school reform and school and university collaboration with considerable experience in professional development school partnerships and teacher education.”

Whitford has taught courses for undergraduate and graduate students in initial teacher education programs as well as courses for master’s and doctoral students in school change, secondary curriculum, qualitative field research methods and research design.

A consultant with numerous school districts and school and university partnerships, Whitford has served as an advisor to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lucent Technologies Foundation, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education’s Professional Development Schools Standards Project, the U.S. Office for Educational Research and Improvement, the Council of Chief State School Officers’ Arts Education Partnership, Appalachian Educational Laboratory and the Schlechty Center for Leadership in School Reform.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as dean of Auburn University’s College of Education and to help shape its highly regarded academic programs in collaboration with the faculty,” Whitford said. “I am particularly impressed by Auburn’s leadership and commitment to the outreach mission as one of Alabama’s land grant universities.”

Whitford has directed national conferences focused on professional development school partnerships at the University of Louisville and the impact of high-stakes testing at Columbia University, and she has regularly presented scholarly papers at the American Educational Research Association’s annual meetings. She served two terms as chair of the awards committee for the American Educational Research Association’s Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education, and served as co-chair of the Division K program planning committee’s section on professional development.

She published “Accountability, Assessment and Teacher Commitment: Lessons from Kentucky’s Reform Efforts” with Ken Jones in 2000, and this year published “Teachers Learning in Community: Realities and Possibilities” with Diane R. Wood.

Whitford has held academic and research positions at Teachers College, Columbia University, the University of Louisville and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her bachelor’s in social studies education, her master’s in teaching in political science and her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and sociology of education.

Contact: Carol Nelson, (334) 844-9999 (nelsoc4@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)