Advisory panel to aid search for next School of Social Work dean


Provost Susan M. Collins has appointed a 13-member advisory committee in the search for the University of Michigan’s next dean of the School of Social Work.

The committee, which includes faculty, staff, students and other members of the university community, is looking for a replacement for Lynn Videka. Videka will step down Dec. 31 after serving as dean since 2016. She plans to take a leave in January 2022 and then return to the faculty.

In an email to colleagues, Collins said Videka did an outstanding job of promoting diversity and excellence in education and research in the school.

“The U-M School of Social Work continues to be ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report, and to recruit world-class faculty,” Collins wrote. “Dean Videka has led the School of Social Work through a strategic planning effort and has overseen incredible progress in the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, community engagement, and climate initiatives.” 

Collins asked members of the advisory committee to conduct a broad search and then submit an unranked slate of candidates.

The committee’s first meeting was April 8. Its members are:

  • Linda Chatters (co-chair), Paula Allen-Meares Collegiate Professor of Social Work, SSW; professor of health behavior and health education, School of Public Health; and faculty associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research.
  • Todd Herrenkohl (co-chair), Marion Elizabeth Blue Professor of Children and Families and professor of social work, SSW.
  • Miriam Connolly, director of the Blavin Scholars Program and SSW alumna.
  • Christian Conyers, Master of Social Work student, SSW.
  • Timothy Colenback, assistant dean for enrollment management, SSW.
  • Terri Friedline, associate professor of social work, SSW.
  • Barbara Hiltz, clinical assistant professor of social work and academic program director, SSW.
  • Erin Khang, adjunct lecturer and administrative manager, SSW.
  • Jamie Mitchell, assistant professor of social work, SSW; faculty associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR; and assistant director of clinical research participation, Rogel Cancer Center.
  • Lori Ploutz-Snyder, dean, School of Kinesiology, and professor of movement science.
  • H. Luke Shaefer, Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy, professor of public policy, associate dean for research and policy engagement, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; professor of social work, SSW; director of Poverty Solutions; faculty associate, Survey Research Center and Population Studies Center, ISR.
  • Trina Shanks, Harold R. Johnson Collegiate Professor of Social Work, professor of social work and director of community engagement, SSW; faculty associate, Survey Research Center, ISR.
  • Ed-Dee G. Williams, Ph.D. student, social work and sociology candidate.

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