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Updated 10:00 AM July 11, 2005




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Ball named interim dean of U-M School of Education

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor of Mathematics Education and Teacher Education, and director of teacher education at the University, has been named interim dean of the School of Education. Ball's appointment was effective July 1, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

In making the announcement, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul N. Courant said the school is poised to make even greater contributions to education in the United States at a time when it widely is recognized as a the key to the country’s future.

(Photo by Marcia Ledford, U-M Photo Services)

"President Coleman and I believe that the University is very fortunate to have Deborah Ball's expertise and vision to lead the school at this time," he said.

Ball joined the faculty in 1996 as professor of education in the educational studies department. From 2000-03, she was an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, the highest honor U-M bestows on faculty for contributions to undergraduate education. From 1988-96, Ball was a faculty member at Michigan State University (MSU). Prior to that, she was an elementary classroom teacher from 1975-88.

Ball received her bachelor of arts degree in 1976, master of arts in 1982, and doctorate in 1988, all from MSU.

"Deborah Ball will bring vital leadership skills to the role of interim dean," says President Mary Sue Coleman. "Provost Courant and I deeply appreciate the strengths in scholarship, research and teaching, and the force of commitment that she will invest in this role."

Ball said one thing that attracted her to U-M was its commitment to offering outstanding higher education to a diverse student body.

"Yet significant problems of educational opportunity and quality persist at all levels, in this country and around the world," she said. "The University must lead efforts to improve educational opportunity and quality, and the School of Education can contribute by doing even better research on those problems, and by educating practitioners who can solve them.

"Given the expertise and resources of our school and our campus, we are in a good position to tackle these problems," she said. "It is a privilege to be asked to lead this effort, at this time, with the outstanding faculty, students, and staff colleagues of our School of Education."

Along with her role as director of teacher education, Ball co-directs the Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics. Her research projects investigate efforts to improve instruction in schools through policy, reform initiatives, and professional education with a focus on mathematics instruction. She also co-directs the Study of Instructional Improvement, a longitudinal study of efforts to improve instruction in reading and mathematics in high-poverty elementary schools.

Ball has authored or co-authored more than 80 publications and has lectured and made numerous presentations around the world. Her publications include articles on teacher learning and teacher education; the role of subject matter knowledge in teaching and learning to teach; persistent challenges of effective teaching, and the relations of policy and practice in instructional improvement.

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