Lynn Videka named dean of the School of Social Work


Lynn Videka, dean and professor in the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, will serve as the next dean of the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

Her appointment, approved Thursday by the Board of Regents, is effective Aug. 1 and runs through June 30, 2021. 

Lynn Videka

Videka also was appointed professor of social work with tenure. She replaces Dean Laura Lein, who will step down June 30 after more than seven years of service.

“Dr. Videka has an inspiring vision for social work; one that encompasses robust research, innovative cross-disciplinary collaborations and rigorous engaged education for the next generation of practitioners,” says Provost Martha E. Pollack.

“We welcome her ideas and energy and are eager for the contributions she will make to the school, the university and the wider community.”

Videka earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with honors from the College of Nursing at the University of Illinois. She earned a Master of Arts degree in social work and a doctorate from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

“It is an honor to be appointed as dean at the No. 1-ranked University of Michigan School of Social Work. Together with the faculty, I look forward to deepening the school’s already outstanding record of scholarship, innovative educational programs and engagement with the state of Michigan, the nation and the world,” Videka says.

“I will work hard to support the school’s continued leadership contributions to solutions for the grand challenges of our society today.”

She began her clinical career as a nurse health-educator in Chicago and had clinical supervisory and consultant positions in New York state.

She became an assistant professor at the School of Social Welfare and the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York, rising through the ranks to distinguished service professor.

During her time at the University at Albany, Videka filled a number of prominent administrative positions. She served as dean of the School of Social Welfare from 1989-99, director of the Center for Human Services research from 1995-2003, interim vice president for research from 2004-06 and vice president for research from 2006-09. 

In 2009, Videka became dean and professor at the Silver School of Social Work, New York University.

Videka has a distinguished career in academic social work.  Her research and teaching focus on two populations that face stress and disparities in their efforts to adapt: families served by the child-welfare system, and persons with serious mental health disabilities. 

Most recently, her work has been on models of integrated health care, blending her professional education in nursing and social work and her interests in health and behavioral health. 

Her funded research totals more than $11 million from agencies such as the Health Resources and Services Administration, the U.S. Children’s Bureau, the National Institutes of Mental Health and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Videka is a widely published author with two books; more than 45 articles and book chapters, 35 of which were refereed; and numerous book reviews and conference presentations. In addition, she has chaired 23 student dissertation committees with another three currently in progress.

She has had many national leadership positions in the field of social work, including president of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work, the Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research, and Council of Community Services of New York; vice president of and conference chair for the Society for Social Work and Research; and commissioner of accreditation and treasurer of the Council on Social Work Education. 

Currently, she serves as chair of the New York Council of Nonprofits, a membership organization of more than 3,000 nonprofit agencies in the state of New York state.



  1. Charles Garvin
    on April 22, 2016 at 7:09 am

    This is a great day for the School of Social Work and the University. Dr Viideka will bring her vast knowledge of social work research, of the Dean’s role, and of the national social work research and practice scene to an already great School of Social Work rated as #1. There will be great days ahead as she and an outstanding faculty work together to promote social work scholarship and to relate this to pressing social justice concerns

  2. Matthew Braman
    on May 16, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    During my experience as an advanced standing MSW candidate at NYU Silver, Dean Videka seemed most receptive and responsive to all student concerns. Dean Videka often invited students to the table for engaging discussion with the goal in mind that collaboration between school administration, faculty, and students would yield the best results. I felt welcomed and encouraged by her presence. Sending Dean Videka and UMSSW all well wishes for the years to come.

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.