Carolyn Herrington enthusiastically sought the top job at MU’s College of Education.
“With relish,” she said.
Herrington’s appointment as the university’s 17th education dean was announced Monday. She succeeds Richard Andrews, who retires this month after leading the college since 1993.
Herrington comes from Florida State University in Tallahassee, where she is associate dean of academic affairs for the College of Education and professor and chair of its department of educational leadership and policy studies.
At MU, she will hold the title of Joanne H. Hook Dean’s Chair in Education Renewal, the MU News Bureau reported.
Reached in her Florida State office late Monday afternoon, Herrington said she was attracted to MU by the College of Education’s focus on curriculum and instruction and the research behind that, as well as its strong math and science education programs.
“Noticeable improvements in pedagogy and instruction are only going to come through solid research behind the instruction,” she said. “It’s a strength that MU has, and I intend to build upon that.”
Herrington said she intends to underscore Chancellor Brady Deaton’s interest in deepening the international experience and global knowledge of MU students. Her childhood in an Army family included living in Germany and Japan, and one of her graduate degrees is in French.
Herrington is coming to the oldest college of education west of the Mississippi. Established in 1868, the college did not have a dean until 1878, when the first female dean at the university, Grace C. Bibb, took the position.
Today, the college has about 2,600 students and 91 faculty members and an annual budget of about $31 million, the news bureau said.
The college has five departments of study: educational, school and counseling psychology; educational leadership and policy analysis; learning, teaching and curriculum; the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies; and special education.
Interim Provost Lori Franz said the college has several areas of national prominence, such as educational, school and counseling psychology. Its science and math education programs consistently win large grants from the National Science Foundation.
Associate Dean Michael Pullis said a strength of the college is its cross-campus reach. “I think the fact that we have over 70 partnerships can show others we are a team player,” he said.
Herrington said the college’s collaborative bent is critical.
“It’s very easy for a college of education to be isolated,” she said. “That’s so clearly not the case with Missouri.”
Puncky Heppner, chairman of the search committee and professor of educational, school and counseling psychology, said Herrington understands MU’s research mission and the role played by the College of Education.
“She has tremendous scholarly knowledge of teacher education, possesses excellent leadership skills and will help guide the college’s collaborative efforts both within and across the MU campus,” Heppner said in a news release.
Herrington’s annual salary will be $170,000, an MU spokesman said.
Herrington, 55, has education in her genes: She said six of her mother’s sisters were teachers, and her grandfather was a principal.
She has four children, three of whom are in college; one of her two sons is studying at the University of Florida to become a high school history teacher. She said that her younger son still has a year left in high school and that he and her husband will remain in Tallahassee at least through the next school year.
Herrington said she doesn’t know yet when she will move to Columbia.
“This has all happened so fast. I have to caucus with my husband and son,” she said. “But I’ll be there in plenty of time for the fall.”