The University Record, June 10, 1998

Gurin, Wixson tapped for interim leadership posts

By Jane R. Elgass

Pat GurinThe appointment of Patricia Gurin as interim dean of the College of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts at the University of Michigan will be recommended to the U-M Regents at their June 18-19 meeting. Pending approval, her appointment will be effective Sept. 1.

She succeeds Edie N. Goldenberg, who announced in April that she would be stepping down Aug. 31, 1998. Gurin, a member of the faculty since 1966, is chair of the Department of Psychology, professor of psychology and of women's studies, and a faculty associate at the Institute for Social Research.

She also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Women's Studies Program and the School of Social Work Visiting Committee, and one of the key individuals and main spokespersons for the Program on Intergroup Relations, Conflict and Community.

In recommending her appointment, Provost Nancy Cantor noted that "Gurin is an active participant in diversity programs on campus and has been a dedicated teacher and distinguished scholar in social psychology for more than three decades. She is an exceptional scholar, conducting research in social psychology, personality and social structure, adult development and gender roles. Her eight books and monographs with collaborators and numerous articles have paved the way for a generation of investigators exploring personal and social identity."

Gurin's honors include a Thurnau Professorship, the Amoco Award for Outstanding Teaching and, most recently, the U-M's Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award.

"I share the widely held view of Dr. Gurin as an extraordinary chair and academic leader on a wide variety of campus issues," Cantor added. "We are very fortunate that she is willing to bring her distinguished leadership to the College at this critical time."

Active in professional associations, Gurin is a member and vice chair of the Board of Directors of the American Institute for Research, and has a long-standing relationship as a scholar with the Russell Sage Foundation.

By Jane R. Elgass

Karen WixsonKaren Wixson, professor of education, will be recommended to the Regents at their June meeting as the interim dean of the School of Education, effective July 1, until a permanent dean is named. A member of the faculty since 1980, she also is associate dean of the School.

"Wixson is a strong leader and has the advantage of knowing many of the current operations and issues within the dean's office and the School of Education," said Provost Nancy Cantor in announcing the recommendation last week. "I am confident she will provide consistent and effective leadership during the term of her appointment."

"We are very fortunate that she is willing to serve the School and the University during this period of transition."

Wixson has received a number of honors including the U-M Class of '23 Distinguished Teaching Award, the American Educational Research Association Professional Service Award and, most recently, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the State University of New York-Binghamton.

Her committee memberships include the Rackham Executive Board, the Steering Committee of the America Reads Tutoring Program and the Executive Committee of the English and Education Program.

Wixson is active at the state level, directing efforts to develop state objectives and assessments in reading. Recently, she directed a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) to develop and pilot Michigan standards and benchmarks in English language arts.

At the national level, Wixson has for many years been involved in developing the National Assessment of Education Progress reading tests and currently is an adviser for the National Voluntary Reading Test. She also is principle investigator with the OERI Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, awarded to the U-M last fall, investigating policy issues related to literacy curriculum, instruction and assessment.