Margaret Crocco to Lead University of Iowa College of Education as New Dean ☆

| March 24, 2011

Margaret Crocco, professor and chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, has been named the 15th dean of the University of Iowa College of Education, UI Interim Executive Vice President and Provost P. Barry Butler announced today. Crocco’s appointment will begin July 1 pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

“I am honored to have been selected to this leadership position at such an outstanding public university,” said Crocco, who is Professor of Social Studies and Education and the coordinator of TC’s Program in Social Studies and Education.

Crocco said she was drawn to the UI College of Education because of Iowa’s proud tradition of civic engagement and the UI’s reputation for excellence as a high-profile, first-rate public university, with a number of the college’s graduate programs recognized among the best in the nation by U.S.News and World Report.

“I’m excited about helping to foster relationships and projects that highlight the unique contributions public universities make to our democracy, and that colleges of education make to our traditions of democratic dialogue and civic engagement,” Crocco said.

Crocco is a nationally recognized leader in diversity issues in social studies education, the history of citizenship education and social studies teacher education.

She received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Georgetown University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught American studies at the University of Maryland; American and women’s history at Drew, Montclair State and William Paterson Universities; and within the Texas community college system.

Crocco joined the Teachers College faculty in 1993 after eight years’ teaching and administering at a high school in Summit, N.J. She has received numerous grants related to women’s history, African American history and inclusive curriculum. Most recently, Crocco has served as editor and project leader for the “Teaching The Levees” curriculum, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and based on Spike Lee’s award-winning film, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.”

“Margaret Crocco has made enormous contributions to TC as a teacher, a researcher and a member of our community,” said Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman. “The ‘Teaching The Levees’ curriculum developed under Margaret’s leadership all but rewrote the book in social studies by incorporating technology, inquiry and media literacy. It also established TC as a go-to center for creating robust, innovative teaching materials that engage students as active participants in the most important civic debates of our times. Margaret has done it all at TC, and she has done it well. As coordinator of our Social Studies and Education program and chair of our Department of Arts and Humanities program, Margaret has inspired her students and colleagues to strive for excellence and creativity in all of their endeavors. She has been a calm and steadfast voice for inclusiveness and productive debate in faculty governance.

“All of us at TC are indeed very sad to see her go west, but we also are happy for her as she takes this logical next step in her brilliant career. UI has made a very wise choice.”

In announcing Crocco’s appointment, UI President Sally Mason said, “Professor Crocco will bring a vast amount of expertise, energy and enthusiasm for the field of education to the position of dean, especially given her outstanding track record and proven leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. UI College of Education faculty, staff and students make major contributions to the field of education across our state, nation and world through their teaching, research, service and outreach. We are confident that Professor Crocco will continue to advance the important work of this college and build on the tradition of excellence that contributes so much to Iowa as the education state.”

Butler agreed. “Professor Crocco is a wonderful fit for the University of Iowa and for the College of Education. I couldn’t be happier that she’s agreed to join our leadership team.”

As dean, Crocco will be chief administrator for approximately 533 teacher education undergraduates, 648 graduate students, 95 staff members and 90 faculty who teach students in the College of Education’s four departments: Rehabilitation and Counselor Education; Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership Studies; and Psychological and Quantitative Foundations. Crocco will also be involved with fundraising and statewide community and school relations.

The College of Education is also home to the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development; Iowa Testing Programs (best known for development of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development); the Center for Evaluation and Assessment; the Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment; the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education; and the Realizing Education and Career Hopes (REACH) Program.

Crocco, who replaces Sandra Bowman Damico, was selected as dean after a search process that started last summer reviewed more than 100 nominees and brought four finalists to campus for interviews in January and February.