9th GSSW Director/Dean – James Herbert Williams, PhD – GSSW’s current Dean

James Herbert Williams, PhD, MSW, MPA, University of Denver

9th GSSW Dean/Current Dean

2010 – Present

pf-williams

James Herbert Williams is Dean and Milton Morris Endowed Chair at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. His research and practice focuses on human security and economic sustainability, health promotion and disease prevention, behavioral health disparities and health equity, global practice and sustainable development, adolescent violence and substance use, mental health services for African American children in urban schools, disproportionate minority confinement of African American youth in the juvenile justice system, school safety and violence prevention, and community strategies for positive youth development. James Herbert joined the University of Denver faculty as dean in 2007; prior to his appointment as Dean, he was the Foundation Professor of Youth and Diversity at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University and the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Racial and Ethnic Diversity at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. He also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Brown School. His funded research and training includes grants from NICHD, NIMH, NIDDK, DOJ, DOE, DHHS, UNCRD, OMH, and the Danforth Foundation. His scholarship has been published in several health and social science journals.

James Herbert is currently the Editor-in-Chief for Social Work Research. He is a member of International Editorial Advisory Board for Regional Development Studies; member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Adolescent Health; and member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group for the Global Risk Forum’s One Health Initiative. James Herbert has held various leadership roles including President of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work (NADD), and three CSWE Commissions (Educational Policy, Diversity and Social and Economic Justice, Information Management and Research); a member of the Action Network for Social Work Education and Research (ANSWER), a board member of the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research (IASWR), a member of the International Committee of the National Association of Social Work, and he has twice served as a member of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Board of Directors both as a member-at-large and as Vice-President. He served as a member of the NADD strategic planning task force and co-chair of the NADD task force on health disparities.

James Herbert received his B.A. from Grambling State University, his MSW from Smith College, his MPA from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and his PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle..

If you like to get an appointment with Dean Williams or contact him please email gsswdean@du.edu or call the Office of the GSSW Dean at (303)-871-2203.

Advertisements

8th Director/Dean – Catherine Alter

CATHERINE FOSTER ALTER (1938-present)

Dean and Professor (1996-2006)

Dean Emerita (2006-present)

Catherine Alter

Catherine Alter attended Grinnell College (Iowa), graduating in 1960 as a double major in American Studies and Journalism. Her MSW was completed at University of Iowa (1975). The results from her masters thesis, indicating the overrepresentation of children of color in special education classes in the Davenport, Iowa School District, were used as data in supporting a complaint of racial bias filed with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, which eventually led the school district to institute a plan of remediation. She completed her Ph.D. in social work at the University of Maryland (1985), conducting dissertation research on interorganizational service delivery systems.

Alter’s prior professional practice career includes staff and executive positions in public relations, television production, urban planning, administration of area-wide services for seniors, directing a program for at-risk children, and conducting research on social and economic development. She has held paid and/or consulting positions with the Children’s Defense Fund, the Carnegie Council on Children, the Institute for Social and Economic Development, and served as technical expert for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Prior to coming to GSSW as the eighth head of the social work at DU, she was a faculty member at St. Ambrose College (Iowa), University of Maryland, and University of Iowa. At University of Iowa, she chaired the four-city social work satellite programs, was Director of the School of Social Work, and Coordinator of the Graduate Program.

Notable achievements during her tenure as GSSW Dean include curriculum innovations such as: the distance education program in the Four Corners area; certificate programs in working with Latino/as, survivors of trauma, and the use of animals to assist social work practice. She instituted the first comprehensive strategic planning and budgeting process at GSSW; greatly expanded the size of staff and faculty; significantly increased the financial aid assistance to MSW and doctoral students; created continuing education and outreach programs to alumni, community practitioners, and human service agencies; networked with other Colorado social work education programs about the advancement of the profession; coordinating the efforts among NASW, Colorado Society for Clinical Social Work, and other groups to continue social work licensing in Colorado; and, most recently, successfully led a seven year capital campaign which raised over $11 million for the renovation and expansion of the School’s present home, Craig Hall. As a result of these efforts, along with increased faculty scholarship and research, GSSW has moved significantly higher in the national rankings of accredited schools of social work place.

7th GSSW Dean – Dr. John ‘Jack’ Jones 1987-1996, Dean Emeritus, 2004-2013

John F. Jones (“Jack”) 1923-2013

Dean and Professor, GSSW,1987-96

Interim Provost, 1989

Professor 1996-2004

Dean Emeritus, 2004 -2013

Jack JonesPhoto courtesy of University of Denver Magazine

 Jack Jones was born in Dublin, Ireland. He earned a BA from the National University of Ireland (1953), an MSW from the University of Michigan (1966), an MA in Public Administration and Ph.D. (social work) from the University of Minnesota (1968). Prior to coming to GSSW as its seventh program head, Jones served for 12 years as the Director of the social work program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1976-1987) and was the founding dean of the School of Social Development, University of Minnesota-Duluth (1971-1976). He also has held academic positions at Hong Kong University, the University of Wisconsin, and Case Western Reserve University.

During his nine years as GSSW dean, the enrollment of the School nearly doubled, and the volume of faculty research and training grants significantly increased. Jones played a key role in establishing, and later chairing, the Colorado Human Services, Research, Education, and Training Consortium (a partnership between the social work programs at DU, Colorado State University, and Metropolitan State University) that brought in $1.5 million training grants in child welfare to GSSW. In addition, Jones was involved in establishing the Bridge Project, a program serving the children, adults, and families of Denver’s public housing.

Drawing on his extensive international experience and research on three continents, and more than 20 years of consulting with the United Nation, Jones published a dozen books and numerous articles on social development, transitional economies, and human security in Asia and Africa. He led GSSW in establishing a unique international partnership with the All China Youth Federation to reestablish the profession of social work in China. As a result, GSSW and the China College of Youth Politics in Beijing have engaged in several faculty exchanges and joint research projects.

Jones served on numerous international boards and committees, such as the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Center for Regional Development and the International Council of Social Welfare. His national and local voluntary service included the American Humane Association, Volunteers of America, the Governor’s Business Commission on Child Care Financing, Warren Village, and the Colorado chapter of NASW. In recognition of his work in founding the Inter-university Consortium for International Social Development, he received its Founders’ Award in 1992.

Following his retirement from the GSSW faculty, Jones continued his work at the University as a research professor in DU’s Conflict Resolution Institute. Emeritus Dean Jones worked on several publications with the current dean of GSSW James Herbert Williams until his death on February 20, 2013. Dr. Jones is a missed member of the community both in Denver and at the University of Denver.  His influence on faculty, staff, and students is memorable.

To read a great article about Dr. Jones in the University of Denver magazine following his passing please visit: http://magazine.du.edu/campus-community/former-gssw-dean-jack-jones-dies/

6th Head of GSSW – Katherine “Kay” Vail – Acting Dean 1985-1987

KATHERINE VAIL (“Kay”) (1924-2007 )

GSSW Professor (1969-1989)

Acting Dean (1985-1987), 6th Head of GSSW

Emeritus Professor (1989)

“Kay Vail is an organizer. She organizes organizations and people in the organizations.”

The Denver Post, March 19, 1973

Katherine (Kay) Vail

Kay Vail was born in Topeka, Kansas, but grew up in a small town in Texas where her father owned a cotton gin. In high school, she was “double promoted,” graduating at age 16. She graduated from Baker University (Kansas) in 1945. She was not able to study music, because that department had been eliminated because of WW II, so she majored in physical education. For the next 15 years, she worked for the Girl Scouts in Topeka. “They were looking for people who were particularly interested in camping, and that was my specialty.”

Vail completed her MSW at DU in 1955, specializing in group work. She then worked for the Girls Scouts for two years in Portland, OR. Vail’s love of the outdoors brought her back to Colorado in 1959, where she worked part time on a dude ranch while also serving as the Executive Director of the Colorado White House Conference on Children and Youth. From 1960-66, she was the Coordinator of Special Services for the Metropolitan Council for Community Services in Denver.

Her teaching career at GSSW began in 1967 as a field instructor and course instructor in group work. In1969, she joined the faculty full time, teaching a wide range of courses, including the practice of social work, group work, social policy and administration, management and staff development, integrated practice, and group research. Vail also took on many administrative tasks involving the internal functions of the school. She was in charge of the Continuing Education programs, and established the Satellite Education Program in Pueblo, extending MSW education to an underserved area of the state. As Associate Dean (1983-1985) and then Acting Dean (1985-1987), she put GSSW’s financial affairs back in order, led the faculty in reevaluating and revising the curriculum, and developed the Information Technology Center, bringing GSSW into the computer age. She served on many University committees as well as numerous community boards and organizations. In retirement, she continued her work on various human service projects in Park County, CO, and also in Mexico, where she spends the winter.

Kay Vail passed away in an Aurora nursing home on April 20, 2007, after a long illness. She was 82 and was preceded in death by her husband, Richard. Kay is survived by two step-children, Richard and Pat of Aurora, former daughter-in-law (called “daughter” by Kay), Helene Burns of Bailey, ten step-grandchildren, and three nephews and a niece. Kay will also be missed and remembered by her many friends and associates in Park County. Funeral services were private (http://www.theflume.com/obituaries/article_2b42f2ba-94cc-5779-a311-4bb997baeac9.html)

Kay is still supporting education in the community. In her will, she bequeathed generous annuities to the Park County Library and the Park County Education Foundation. (http://www.theflume.com/obituaries/article_2b42f2ba-94cc-5779-a311-4bb997baeac9.html)

The Platte Canyon community, Park County, and the many people Kay worked to help are grateful for her commitment and her very active life here. (http://www.theflume.com/obituaries/article_2b42f2ba-94cc-5779-a311-4bb997baeac9.html)

GSSW Deans and Directors Series: Leverne McCummings, 5th GSSW Dean, 1978-1985

LEVERNE MCCUMMINGS (1932-)

McCummings picture

5TH GSSW Dean, 1978-1985

The first person of color to serve as director or dean of GSSW.

The first African American to serve as a graduate dean at the University of Denver.

LeVerne McCummings was born and raised in South Carolina, attending segregated elementary and secondary schools in Marion County. Although his family moved to Philadelphia when he was 19, McCummings returned to the South, attending St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina from 1952 to 1960. (His undergraduate work was interrupted by two years of military service in the U.S. Army.) He graduated from St. Augustine’s (a four year liberal arts college for African Americans, operated by the Episcopal Church), majoring in social studies, with minors in psychology and urban mental health. As a college student, he was active in two national civil rights organizations. After graduation, he married Betty Hall, who later earned a doctorate in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

He began his practice career in the Philadelphia area, starting in 1960. Over the next 15 years, McCummings worked in various positions as a public school teacher; a public welfare caseworker; development director for the Lutheran Social Mission Society; community development director for the Wharton Settlement House; and held several administrative or executive positions in the Model Cities Program in Philadelphia. He also held administrative positions in public and private agencies in Columbus, Ohio, while completing his doctorate.

McCummings completed his MSW in 1966 at University of Pennsylvania. In 1973, he joined the social work faculty at University of Kentucky. He earned a doctorate in social work from Ohio State University in 1975, while also serving on that faculty as an assistant professor. His areas of expertise were group work, administration, health, and aging. He spent two contentious years as a faculty member at Syracuse University School of Social Work, battling what he perceived to be entrenched institutional racism.

He came to DU in 1977 as Associate Professor. Became GSSW Dean in 1978, at age 45. Later, was elected president of the Council of Deans and Directors (1982-1985). His tenure as GSSW Dean occurred during a period of prolonged severe financial crisis at the University. Much conflict occurred with the faculty over program direction, hiring, budget and spending priorities, and the threat of GSSW’s potential consolidation with the School of Professional Psychology and College of Education–which would have resulted in the loss of GSSW’s status as an independent academic unit. McCummings left GSSW in 1985 to become the President of Cheyney University in Philadelphia, one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges in the United States, which was threatened with loss of accreditation because of its own prolonged financial crises and administrative turnover. McCummings served as president of Cheyney until 1991.

4th GSSW Dean – Kenneth W. Kindelsperger (1914-2000)

KENNETH W. KINDELSPERGER (1914-2000)
4th GSSW Dean (1971-1978)
Interim Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (1978-1979)
Acting Dean, Colorado Women’s College, 1980-82 (supervising its merger with DU)
Recipient, Outstanding Service to the University of Denver Award, 1986

Kindelsperger pic

Ken Kindelsperger was born in Galesberg, Illinois. Ken received a B.S. and M.S. degree in social group work from George Williams College (Chicago) in 1942. He completed his doctorate at the Syracuse School of Social Service Administration in 1956. He held various social work positions in Chicago while attending college and graduate school. During WW II, Ken served as Lt. Commander, U.S. Naval Reserves, which included a stint as Fleet Morale Officer at Pearl Harbor. After the war, he was the Secretary for Planning and Research for the Council of Social Agencies at Syracuse, NY, and eventually joined the social work faculty at University of Buffalo in 1950. Subsequently, he served as dean of schools of social work at three universities: Syracuse University, University of Louisville (KT), and University of Denver.

Two major themes highlight his career as a social work educator and administrator. First, he was committed to international social work. He worked for two years in India, studying social problems and helping to establish schools of social work. Later, he made two visits to South Vietnam as a consultant for the Agency for International Development, studying social welfare conditions and making recommendations. He traveled to many other countries and served on numerous international committees at CSWE and other social work organizations. Second, he was deeply committed to the advancement of civil rights for oppressed racial and ethnic groups. As Dean of the Kent School of Social Work at Louisville, he participated in the march on the state capital to demand passage of civil rights legislation.

He came to GSSW during the time when student protests over the Vietnam War and racial discrimination were at fever pitch. Although faced with the loss of federal stipends for social work training, instituted by the Nixon administration, he nonetheless managed to increase significantly the number of MSW and doctoral students of color, and also increased the faculty of color. He was a widely respected administrator, known as hard working, compassionate, and fair.
Ken and his older brother, Walter, were both deans of social work at the same time–the only known set of “brother deans” in the history of the profession.

Kindelsperger lecture pic

18th Chancellor for the University of Denver named

Image

Dr. Rebecca Chopp

18th Chancellor University of Denver

Photo courtesy of: University of Denver

 

The University of Denver announced today, June 12, 2014 that the 18th Chancellor of the University of Denver is Dr. Rebecca Chopp.

Dr. Chopp comes to DU from from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania where she has served as President since 2009 and will join the University of Denver community as Chancellor on September 1, 2014 as the first female chancellor of the university.

More information about Dr. Chopp’s appointment as Chancellor and her professional background can be viewed online: http://www.du.edu/chancellor-search/index.html and/or by reading her interview with the DU Magazine: http://magazine.du.edu/campus-community/university-of-denver-names-rebecca-chopp-president-of-swarthmore-as-18th-chancellor/

The Graduate School of Social Work looks forward to welcoming Dr. Chopp to campus tomorrow and again in the coming months. For more information on tomorrows events at the Anderson Academic Commons please visit: http://www.du.edu/chancellor-search/index.html.