Augustana University Announces Dean for School of Education

By Jill Wilson | April 23, 2020

Augustana University announced today that Dr. Laurie Daily has been named the inaugural Dean of the School of Education. The School of Education will elevate the profile of the university’s already renowned Education Department while supporting the university’s comprehensive strategic plan – Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030. It will be the first school developed in Augustana’s history and will be operational by fall 2020. 

Daily joined Augustana in 2015 as chair of the Education Department. In addition to her position as chair, she has also served as interim associate vice president for graduate and continuing education from 2016-2018.

“In searching for our first dean for the School of Education, it was imperative that we found a leader who could align the new school with our current teaching practices to enhance and better support our efforts to serve students and teachers, in and out of the classroom,” said Dr. Colin Irvine, Augustana provost and executive vice president. 

“Dr. Daily’s tenure at Augustana demonstrates her commitment to her vocation and the community as a whole – always looking for innovative ways to serve Augustana, the community and through partnerships with area schools and regional partners," said Irvine.

Daily received her doctoral degree in educational leadership at Argosy University and earned a master’s degree in special education at the University of North Carolina. Prior to coming to Augustana, Daily had been the education chairperson at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where she was chair for seven years and also taught for 12 years. Before that, she directed a field-based special education teacher training program in New Hampshire, coordinated the special education program at Plymouth State College and taught children with special needs in North Carolina.

“I am honored to be selected as the Dean of the School of Education and help launch Phase I of the university’s strategic plan. Creating a school that will inspire, teach and connect future educators and professionals in Sign Language Interpreting and Communication Disorders, who are deeply committed to the core values of Augustana is such an honor and privilege," Daily said.

"It is also exciting to advance the mission of Augustana as we serve P-12 teachers with the graduate programs that we offer in Education and Special Education. Augustana has such a long and rich history of developing and delivering innovative programming, the most recent example being Augie Access. I look forward to the myriad of ways that the School of Education will become even more of a leader in the region in terms of research and practice," said Daily.

Phase I of Augustana University’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030 identified the goal of establishing a School of Education including the selection of a Dean. In consultation with the Faculty Personnel Council, Augustana President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and Irvine appointed a discernment and evaluation committee to engage various campus constituencies in order to identify the leadership needs for the new School of Education.

“As provost, my main priority in this and other similar instances is to lead by listening and to understand well the concerns, expectations and aspirations of departmental and divisional colleagues. In particular, my intent is to help support the inaugural leader of the School of Education by eliciting the caring, invested and experienced perspectives of colleagues who work with and care about our students and their faculty,” said Irvine.

The School of Education is diverse within itself, with six unique undergraduate majors and two graduate programs. Students can double major within the department for a specialized career or pair up with a major outside of the department to teach secondary education. Students in the school of Education can access a number of student clubs and organizations, including the AU Education Association, the Student Council for Exceptional Children, Deaf Awareness and the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. There are also enrichment programs, such as the Norwegian Education Exchange Program, ASL Immersion and work study opportunities.

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