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Urban Specialist Named UMKC School of Education Dean
wanda blanchett

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gail Hackett, Ph.D., has named Wanda J. Blanchett, Ph.D., as Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman Endowed Chair in Teacher Education of the School of Education.

Blanchett brings more than eight years of academic administrative leadership experience, along with a national reputation in urban education and issues of social justice. Her administrative experience includes five years as associate dean at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and most recently at the University of Colorado-Denver. Her most notable contributions at both universities include helping to increase the School of Education’s focus and commitment to diversity issues in urban education; depth of community and university partnerships; and strategic planning aligned with the school’s mission.

“In addition to her outstanding academic record as a teacher and leader, Dr. Blanchett is widely recognized as an authority on urban education and educational equity,” said Hackett. “Dr. Blanchett possesses the vision and knowledge to lead our School of Education to the next level in UMKC’s mission of building strong collaborations in urban issues and education.”

Blanchett brings to UMKC a strong research record, which focuses on urban teacher preparation, issues of race, class, culture and gender, overrepresentation of African American students in special education and issues of sexuality and disability. The research has resulted in numerous referred publications and books and book chapters, book reviews and editorials.

“We conducted a national search and identified excellent candidates from across the country,” said Lora Lacey-Haun, Chair of the Search Committee and Dean of UMKC’s School of Nursing. “Dr. Blanchett is a perfect match for the School of Education and for UMKC as she brings an extensive background in working with schools and individuals in the urban core and has been an exceptional leader in higher education. Under Dr. Blanchet’s leadership, the SOE will continue pursuing its mission to prepare educators and counselors for a high level of success working with traditionally at-risk students. I know Dr. Blanchett will carry forward the school’s outstanding reputation and national recognition for advancing and improving quality education for students in our urban school districts.”

Blanchett will begin her duties on Aug. 10, 2009. She will replace Dr. Linda Edwards, who will retire Sept. 1. Edwards has served as Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education since 2003 and has spent 33 years at UMKC.

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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