Daniel Clay named dean of MU College of Education

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | 7:30 p.m. CDT; updated 6:51 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 5, 2010

COLUMBIA – His strong roots at MU are what bring him back now to the university after being gone since graduate school.

Daniel Clay, associate dean for administration, research and innovative programs at Auburn University’s College of Education, will begin his position as dean of MU’s College of Education on June 1.

At a glance: MU's College of Education

The University of Missouri's College of Education is one of the oldest in the nation. MU was the first public university in the United States to create a college specifically that prepares teachers. MU's Board of Curators founded this college in 1867 when it created the "College of Normal Instruction." Here is the College of Education at a glance:

Mission statement:

The University of Missouri's College of Education has a vision to change Missouri and the nation one infant, one child and one adult at a time.

Academic units:

Enrollment Statistics, 2009-10:

  • Undergraduate: 1,231
  • Graduate: 1,674
  • Total: 2,905

Degrees granted, 2008-09:

  • Bachelor's: 246
  • Master's and Education Specialist: 542
  • Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy: 87
  • Total: 875

International Graduate Students: 108

Alumni: 49,120

Faculty and Staff, 2009-10:

  • Faculty: 222
  • Tenured, Tenure-Track Faculty: 79

  • Student to faculty ratio: 15 to 1
  • Full-Time Staff: 171

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He was the first in his family to attend college and went on to receive master's and doctoral degrees from MU, Clay said.

“The college was instrumental in setting the course for my life, and I feel a personal commitment to making sure the College of Education is able to provide opportunities like that for others going forward,” he said.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Saint Scholastica in Minnesota and worked at Western Illinois University and the University of Iowa before moving to Auburn.

Clay is president of the American Psychological Association’s Division 54 and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association and American Psychological Association, among other positions, according to a release.

Clay’s research focuses on children with chronic health conditions and the education system.

“Returning to school can be a challenge (for children) because of health related issues that interfere with their ability to learn in school," he said. "I work to effectively integrate them back into schools and communities.”

After consulting many people, MU Provost Brian Foster said he chose Clay because of his very broad support, big vision, administrative experience, articulateness and impression he made on people.

“One of the main roles of a dean is to be an advocate for the college,” Foster said. “I think Dan will be extremely good that way. He sees the big picture for where education’s going.”

Denice Adkins, associate professor in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies and part of the dean search committee, added that Clay is the “21st century dean.”

“He had what seemed to us clear direction for making the college of education visible on the campus and within the community,” Adkins said.

Clay is replacing Carolyn Herrington, who left the post in August 2008. Clay will be paid $190,000 each year, according to MU public relations spokesman Christian Basi.

His wife, Kelly Clay, holds a doctorate in speech and hearing sciences from Auburn and is looking at opportunities to teach at Missouri. Clay has three sons:  Landon, 8, Braydon, 6, and Holden, 4.

Clay said he's already talked to people here and is planning the transition.

Clay said one of the desirable things about MU was that the school has strong school partnerships that are essential for improving education.

“Those partnerships allow college faculty and staff to work directly with public schools to improve student learning,” he said.

Some issues that Clay hopes to address as dean are:

  • Improving both urban and rural public schools
  • Dealing with national crises such as gaps in student achievement and the school dropout rate
  • Addressing the shortage of science, math technology and special education teachers

The other four candidates who visited Mizzou were:

  • Dennis Kivlighan, Jr., professor and chair, Department of Counseling and Personnel Services, College of Education, University of Maryland-College Park
  • Vena M. Long, founding executive director, Tennessee Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science; professor, Mathematics Education, College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Paul Theobald, interim associate provost and dean of the graduate school; Woods-Beals Chair of Urban and Rural Education, School of Education, Buffalo State College in New York
  • Glenn Good, associate dean for Research, Graduate and International Studies; professor, Educational, School and Counseling Psychology, College of Education, MU


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