Pacific University Selects New College of Education Dean

Following a national search, Pacific University has selected Leif Gustavson as the new dean of its College of Education

Gustavson succeeds Mark Ankeny, the dean since 2006 who has also served the university as vice president for enrollment management and student affairs since Sept. 2012. Ankeny will continue his VP post at Pacific and continue to serve as dean until Gustavson begins his appointment on July 1. 

Gustavson comes to Pacific from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa., where he successfully transitioned the institution's education department to a school of education in 2012. 

He secured a $1 million gift to help finance the school's first endowed chair position, helped design a comprehensive marketing plan for the new school and oversaw the program's successful redesign as well as its accreditation and review process. 

While at Arcadia, Gustavson also led the development of three different K-12 - university system partnerships that have become models for sustainability and reciprocity. Additionally, Gustavson initiated the implementation of  semester-long, global teaching fieldwork experiences for Arcadia students. 

He has served on Arcadia's education faculty since 2001, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor. In that time, Gustavson also coordinated middle school and secondary licensure programs. He chaired the department beginning in 2010 and has served as interim dean of the School of Education since 2012. 

In addition to more than seven years teaching at the middle school level, Gustavson worked extensively with K-12 schools in designing curricula that is inquiry, project and writing-based. He has frequently written about how youth learn, including his 2007 book Youth Learning on Their Own Terms: Creative Practices and Classroom Teaching. 

Gustavson earned a PhD in education with a specialization in reading, writing and literacy from the University of Pennsylvania. 

"On behalf of the search committee, I am very pleased that Dr. Gustavson has accepted the opportunity to lead the College of Education," said John S. Miller, Pacific provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"Leif's vision for enhancing our strong partnerships with K-12 districts will ensure that both our students and the students in those districts will be well prepared for the global community." 

Pacific University has been preparing teachers since it offered its first degree in 1863. Pacific began offering courses for teachers in 1911 as the Oregon public school movement expanded as one of only three colleges authorized by the State of Oregon to recommend graduates for high school teaching certificates at that time. 

The college is annually among the state's largest producers of licensed teachers and is consistently praised by school district administrators for the talent and readiness of new graduates. 

Gustavson looks forward to leading the College of Education. "To be part of the Pacific University community and to be able to work closely with the incredibly talented faculty, staff, and administration of the College of Education is an honor and a privilege," he said. 

"The present moment in education is particularly challenging and therefore brimming with possibility. I relish the opportunity to work together to create what the future of higher education, speech-language pathology, and K-12 learning and teaching can be." 

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014