New SOE Dean Begins Her Tenure

LMU SCHOOL OF EDUCATION | Michelle D. Young, the incoming dean of the LMU School of Education, begins her tenure July 1, 2020. She comes to LMU from the University of Virginia, where she has been a professor of educational leadership and policy and chair of the department of education leadership, foundations and policy.

“I am excited to begin this new position,” Young said. “The more I learn about the work of LMU faculty and staff, which emphasize equity, improving outcomes for all learners and enhancing the capacity and performance of PK-12 schools and institutions of higher education, the more energized I become about our future work together.”

Young has co-edited or co-authored six books and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her scholarship focuses on how university programs, educational policies and school leaders can support equitable and quality experiences for all students and adults who learn and work in schools.

She has edited two editions of the “Handbook of Research on the Education of School Leaders,” and is currently editing the “Handbook of Critical Research Methods in Education.” Young has been the recipient of multiple awards for her writing, including the William J. Davis Award for most outstanding article, an Emerald Literati Award for Excellence, and was recently awarded the prestigious Edwin M. Bridges Award for her contributions to research on the preparation of education leaders.

Throughout her career, she has developed and sustained a reputation as an innovative, civic-minded, ethical leader with a strong commitment to diversity and social justice. Young recently completed her 19th year as executive director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), an international consortium of more than 100 research institutions with master’s and doctoral level programs in educational leadership and administration. In that role, she was instrumental in increasing and leveraging the significant benefits of diversity.

From efforts to diversify the education leadership professoriate and the school leadership pipeline (e.g., mentoring programs, policy initiatives, research projects), to developing a diverse board of directors for UCEA, she searched for and found new opportunities for impact and growth. For example, as UCEA executive director, she led the development of the Barbara Jackson Network, a program to provide doctoral students of color with a system of support, significantly expand the number of faculty of color in colleges of education, and enhance the ability of universities to recruit people of color into K-12 administrative programs. The Jackson Scholars program fundamentally changed the diversity of UCEA membership, increased the diversity of the educational leadership professoriate, and influenced the priorities and decisions of UCEA as an organization.

Reflecting on the current context, Young noted: “Equity work, in higher education and our PK-12 schools, demands that we work to prevent the next tragedy, that we push back against hatred, discrimination and violence, that we look in the mirror and examine our own practice, and that we take actions to ensure justice and better outcomes for our students and communities. One of the things that drew me to LMU was its strong commitment to social justice. That commitment is essential to remaking the world to be more equitable and just.”

Equity, improvement and capacity development have been central to Young’s work as a researcher and an organizational leader. While leading UCEA, she developed and supported programs and initiatives focused on increasing the focus of research on leadership preparation and bringing research to bear on the work of faculty members, educational leadership and policymakers. She led national standards work for leadership practice, preparation and accreditation, and she worked with key stakeholders in designing and coordinating state and national legislative initiatives and events. During her tenure at UCEA, the budget for mission-focused activities quadrupled and the investment portfolio saw a seven-fold increase. Upon completion of her tenure with UCEA, she was granted emeritus status.