UF Distinguished Professor retires after more than 33 years

Paul Sindelar, UF Distinguished Professor and professor of special education, retires after serving more than 33 years at the College of Education.


January 11, 2022



[av_three_fourth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]
Paul Sindelar, University of Florida Distinguished Professor and professor of special education, has recently retired after more than 33 years at the College of Education.

Sindelar came to the university as a special education professor in 1988. His scholarship is world renowned, focusing on the special education labor market and its implications for both educators and policymakers. 

Dr. Sindelar is nationally and internationally recognized for his scholarship in shaping the field of special education and its teaching force – transforming the landscape of learning for students with disabilities,” said Dean Glenn Good. “He has been a true leader in our College of Education embodying our commitment to building a brighter future for all.”

Throughout his tenure, he served in a range of vital leadership roles, including department chair (1988-1996), director of the UF Center for School Improvement (1996-2001), director of the UF Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education (2000-2005), associate dean for research for the Office of Educational Research (2005-2008) and co-director of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) Center.

[/av_three_fourth][av_one_fourth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]
[av_image src=’https://education.ufl.edu/news/files/2022/01/Paul-Sindelar-300×204.png’ attachment=’19868′ attachment_size=’medium’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ animation=’no-animation’][/av_image]

[av_hr class=’custom’ height=’50’ shadow=’no-shadow’ position=’center’ custom_border=’av-border-thin’ custom_width=’50px’ custom_border_color=” custom_margin_top=’0′ custom_margin_bottom=’0′ icon_select=’yes’ custom_icon_color=’#f58320′ icon=’ue883′ font=’entypo-fontello’]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]

Paul Sindelar


[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=’av-align-top’ space=’no_margin’ margin=’0px’ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0px’ padding_sync=’true’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ radius_sync=’true’ background_color=” src=” attachment=” attachment_size=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]
Through the CEEDAR Center, which specializes in improving the preparation of teachers and school leaders to serve students with disabilities, he has been influential in policy analysis, developing demographic state profiles and project evaluation. 

Sindelar has supported funding generation of more than $46 million for the CEEDAR Center and has received multiple awards in recognition of his teaching, leadership and scholarship. Most notable is the esteemed title of UF Distinguished Professor, which he received in 2015, making him just one of eight College of Education faculty to earn the distinction.

“Dr. Sindelar has demonstrated distinction as a prolific scholar, successful grantsman, valued mentor to faculty and doctoral students and effective department chair,” said Erica McCray, director of SESPECS and co-director of the CEEDAR Center.

In honor of his exceptional record of excellence and invaluable mentorship to both faculty and students, his peers have unanimously voted to confer him with the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Special Education. 

“Paul is a giant in our field and college; he is considered one of the finest scholars leaders in the area of teacher education for special education nationally, and has been a leader of many “firsts” at the University of Florida,” said Mary Brownell, Distinguished Professor and director of the CEEDAR Center.

“He led a team that was awarded the first national center to study special education teacher preparation at the University of Florida and he played a significant role in helping us secure largest federally funded center, the CEEDAR Center, to improve the preparation of all teachers and school leaders for developing more inclusive schools for students with disabilities. This center has had a significant impact on teacher and school leader preparation practice in more than 20 states, and over 100 colleges of education in those states.
“Paul is also a highly valued colleague and leader in our school and college. As associate dean, he started the Office of Educational Research for the College of Education, which continues to provide strong support for submitting grant applications. As a former department chair, he developed a foundation for our program through faculty hires and visionary thinking that allowed us ultimately to emerge as one of the best graduate programs in the country.
Without a doubt, Paul is a great scholar, leader, mentor, and colleague; the impact he has had on our college and field is enormous, and we are delighted to see what retirement brings.”


[av_heading tag=’h3′ padding=’10’ heading=’Sindelar reflects fondly on his long standing career with the College of Education, stating:’ color=” style=” custom_font=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]
“The college has been a fruitful academic home for me, and a great place to work. I’ve had great colleagues and outstanding departmental support. The college is a different institution today than it was in 1988 when I joined the faculty. I’m happy to have contributed to its development as a top-tier research institution.

I came to UF as chair of what was then the Department of Special Education. During my 8-year tenure as chair, I had the opportunity to hire a half dozen or so junior faculty, some of whom remain on the faculty today (and a couple of whom beat me to retirement!). These colleagues have had highly successful careers, and their long tenures here have added substantially to the quality and comfort of our work culture — and to the reputation of the program.

When I returned to the faculty, I focused my scholarly work on policy, teacher preparation and teacher supply and demand — what has been an intractable problem for special education. Much of this work was supported with funding from the U. S. Department of Education, culminating with my involvement in a series of funded centers, dating back to 2000. As far as I’m concerned, professionally, there’s nothing better than being able to do the work you want to do. That’s what my funded projects have allowed me to do, and the college has provided an environment in which initiative of this sort is rewarded. As I said before, the UF College of Education has been a great place to work.”