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Updated 10:00 AM September 12, 2005




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New education dean to rely on school's strength

The new dean of the U-M-Dearborn School of Education plans to be a strong advocate for education in the metropolitan area; something that he says can be accomplished by utilizing the University's strong area ties.
(Photo courtesy

"I hope we can build on the already strong relationships our faculty and alumni have developed in the schools in this region over the years and forge new partnerships on a lot of levels to foster stronger educational programs for both the region's schools and the University," says Paul Zionts, who began his duties Sept. 1.

Zionts was professor and chair of educational foundations and special services at Kent State University before coming to U-M-Dearborn. He was a professor of counseling and special education at Central Michigan University (CMU) from 1979-2001, and served as chair of the CMU counseling and special education department from 1991-96.

At the beginning of his career, Zionts taught in a reform school and in an urban school in Connecticut for students with emotional and behavioral disorders.

"It is clear that the public role of schools of education is being redefined," Zionts says. "We need to remain faithful to the students who are pursuing teaching degrees, while we are also being called upon to meet the changing needs of our surrounding communities."

Zionts received his bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut (UConn) in 1972. He earned a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Hartford in 1973, and his doctorate in educational psychology and special education from UConn in 1979.

In addition to his teaching positions, Zionts has held several national leadership positions, including a term as president of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders. He currently is a member of Ohio's state task force for special education personnel. During his tenure at CMU, Zionts was a member of the Michigan Department of Education advisory committee on teacher preparation programs at higher education institutions.

Zionts has written numerous journal articles, and his books include, "Teaching Disturbed and Disturbing Students," "Emotional and Behavioral Problems: A Handbook for Understanding and Handling Students" and "Inclusion Strategies for Students with Learning and Behavioral Problems."

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