Introducing Dr. Karen Riley Dean, Morgridge College of Education

From: Gregg Kvistad, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

It is with great pleasure that I share the news that Dr. Karen Riley has been named dean of the Morgridge College of Education. Chancellor Emeritus Robert Coombe and I launched the search for the permanent dean of the College in late spring. A search committee was formed and very ably led by Dr. Shelly Smith-Acuna, dean of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology. After meeting with the committee last week, the position was offered to Karen, and she enthusiastically accepted.

As many of you know, Karen served as interim dean of the College for the last year. She is an associate professor with tenure, in the area of Child, Family, and School Psychology. From 2011 until 2013, she was the department chair of the Educational Research Policy and Practice program. Between 2010 and 2012, Karen put her leadership skills to work as faculty director of the Fisher Early Learning Center at the University. Karen joined the University as an assistant professor in 2004. She received her master’s degree from DU in 1986 in early childhood special education, and her Ph.D. in 1998 in child and family studies.

Between 1986 and 1997, Karen served as an education practitioner, working as an early childhood specialist and special education preschool coordinator for Adams County School District #12. After completing her Ph.D., Karen shifted gears and embarked on a very productive research career that has won her international acclaim. Working on Fragile X Syndrome, Karen has been funded by the National Institute of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, Novartis Pharmaceutical, the Colorado Department of Education, and other agencies and foundations.

In short, Karen Riley has excellent credentials and an impressive track-record of teaching and research distinction as well as academic leadership. Her candidacy received extraordinarily strong support from her colleagues at the College, other faculty members across the institution, and the many University administrators with whom a dean interacts at the University.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Karen Riley to the position of dean of the Morgridge College of Education.

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