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Anniversary of merger celebrated with six new endowed chairs

Posted by on Monday, November 23, 2009 in Around the Mall, Fall 2009.

Peabody celebrated the 30th anniversary of its merger with Vanderbilt by awarding six of its faculty with new endowed chairs. The chairs were announced at the Peabody spring faculty meeting May 5.

“The six professors receiving these chairs are high-impact individuals who make important contributions to the practice of education or psychology,” Dean Benbow said. “Rewarding them with an endowed chair is our way of recognizing their accomplishments and of signifying to the world that Peabody is a place where great intellects gather and interact.” Nineteen faculty members currently hold endowed chairs.

“This is a great moment for Peabody College,” said Provost Richard McCarty, whom Benbow credited with making the new chairs possible. “Everyone at Vanderbilt celebrates your accomplishments, and we are inspired by your success.” The new chairs were awarded to:


Len Bickman, Betts Chair. Bickman is professor of psychology and psychiatry, director of the Center for Evaluation and Program Improvement and an investigator in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Bickman is a nationally recognized leader in program evaluation and research on mental health services for children and adolescents.

He has published more than 15 books and monographs and 180 articles and chapters.


David Cole, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair. Cole is chair of the Department of Psychology and Human Development, professor of psychology and an investigator in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Cole’s scholarly interests encompass developmental psychopathology and childhood depression. He also studies the assessment of childhood disorders and the prediction of adolescent suicide.

Ellen Goldring, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair. Goldring is professor of educational policy and leadership and chair of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations. Her research focuses on understanding and shaping school reform efforts that connect families, communities and schools and the changing roles of school leaders. She is editor of a new book, From the Courtroom to the Classroom: The Shifting Landscape of School Desegregation.


James Guthrie, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair of Educational Leadership and Policy. Guthrie is professor of public policy and education, director of the Peabody Center for Education Policy, executive director of the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt and served as chair of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations for 10 years. Guthrie is a widely acknowledged expert on school finance, legal issues of equity and adequacy and education reform strategies.

Rich Lehrer, Frank W. Mayborn Chair. Lehrer, professor of science education, is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of mathematics and science education. His research, which he conducts in direct partnership with kindergarten through middle school teachers, applies knowledge of young children’s thinking about space and geometry to teach mathematic and scientific concepts built upon everyday experiences.

Joseph F. Murphy, Frank W. Mayborn Chair. Murphy is professor of education and associate dean of Peabody College. He is a nationally recognized scholar in the field of school administration and a leading advocate for school leadership reforms. He has authored or co-authored 15 books and two major monographs in this area and edited another 12 books. In February 2009, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that he will serve as chairman of a steering committee to develop an advanced certification for educational leaders.

Also at the meeting, Kimberly Paulsen, associate professor of the practice in special education, was awarded the annual Peabody Award for Excellence, this year presented for advising and service. The 2009-2010 Faculty Council was also announced. It includes Donna Ford, Brian Griffith, Rogers Hall, Stephen Heyneman, Craig Smith, Rich Milner, Paul Speer, Dan Levin and Georgene Troseth.


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