Dean Emihovich to step down in August

UF College of Education Dean Catherine Emihovich announced Thursday (Feb. 17) she will step down as dean to return to teaching and research as a tenured professor in the School […]


February 17, 2011



Dean Catherine Emihovich

UF College of Education Dean Catherine Emihovich announced Thursday (Feb. 17) she will step down as dean to return to teaching and research as a tenured professor in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education. She will leave the college’s top post on Aug. 14.

UF Provost Joe Glover informed COE faculty and staff of her decision in an email Thursday afternoon.

“The college has prospered under her leadership in many ways, and the faculty, staff, students and UF administration have ample reason to thank her for her insightful and sustained attention to academic excellence, administrative and fiscal management, and foresight in planning for the future,” Glover wrote in his email.

Glover said the search for a new dean will begin immediately. He has asked Steve Dorman, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, to head the search committee. He said he will name other members of the committee over the next week and will include College of Education faculty members.

Emihovich has been dean of the College of Education since 2002. She is its 12th dean and the first woman to lead the college.

A hallmark of her deanship is the infusion of “engaged scholarship” as a core principle of a faculty-led transformation of the college’s teaching and research programs. Engaged scholarship involves innovative research and educational activities, often carried out with community partners, which contribute directly to improved teaching and learning or address important social issues.

During her tenure, the college has emerged as a national leader in effective education reform. A shining example is the college’s renowned Lastinger Center for Learning, which links some 300 partnering schools across Florida with UF research scholars from multiple disciplines, forming powerful learning communities in support of school improvement and children’s learning and healthy development.

Another landmark program, UF Teach, began in 2008. It represents a radically different approach to recruiting science and mathematics majors into the teaching ranks in order to ease the shortage of qualified teachers in the STEM fields. Emihovich secured the $1 million match from the Helios Education Foundation to ensure the program’s funding at UF.

A major milestone occurred in December when she facilitated UF’s creation of an interdisciplinary Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies. In 2006, she also helped secure the college’s $1.5 million David Lawrence Jr. Endowed Professorship in Early Childhood Studies.

Last year under her leadership, college faculty held nearly $38 million in active research and training grants, the college’s highest total ever. About $14 million of that was in new grants. As part of UF’s ambitious Florida Tomorrow capital campaign, the college is fast approaching its third fundraising goal of $25 million, although the campaign runs through 2012. Over the course of her deanship, donations have funded more than 30 new student scholarships and fellowships.

The college’s online learning program, launched in 2004 with 57 students in three graduate courses, experienced an exponential growth during Emihovich’s tenure, generating nearly 4,400 enrollments, in 130 courses, in 2010.

Emihovich also is a co-director of the University of Florida’s Science for Life initiative, an interdisciplinary, nine-college program in the life sciences supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Emihovich said she will take a year’s sabbatical before resuming her faculty responsibilities.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as dean of education at the University of Florida,” Emihovich said. “I deeply appreciate all of the wonderful work being done by our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and college friends who have made this college the very special place that it is today.”

Writer: Larry Lansford, director, news & communications, UF College of Education, 352-273-6733;