De Lisi to Step Down as Dean

After 11 years of leadership, Dr. Richard De Lisi will step down as dean of Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) on June 30, 2014.

During his tenure as dean, De Lisi worked tirelessly to advance the school’s achievements and contributions to education – fostering the internationally recognized research institution it is today.

A testament to De Lisi’s commitment to building high-quality instructional and research programs,the GSE has been consistently identified as one of the nation’s top graduate schools of education by the US News and World Report Graduate School Rankings system.  The School’s Ph.d. in Education program is rated as one of Rutgers’ top Ph.D. programs by Academic Analytics. De Lisi facilitated the revision of the GSE’s Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) program, shifting the degree’s focus to meet and reflect the specific needs of education practitioners.

During his tenure, raising funds for scholarship support for both master’s and doctoral students have been of utmost priority for Dean De Lisi. Under his leadership and through the generosity of alumni and friends, GSE has established nine new, student scholarships/fellowships, six of which are endowed and thus will provide support for GSE students in perpetuity. Gifts and pledges to establish the endowed scholarships total nearly $800,000, which does not include subsequent gifts made to the endowments from GSE alumni and friends.  The Rutgers Institute for Improving Student Achievement, the Center for Effective School Practices and the Rutgers Center for Literacy Development were launched; the Rose and Nicholas DeMarzo Endowed Chair in Education was created; and the Urban Teaching Fellowship program was developed.  Diversity representation in the faculty body doubled during De Lisi’s tenure and several new instructional programs were developed – including the GSE’s first foray into the field of online learning with three masters degree, and five non-degree programs available fully online – and two new cultural-immersion global programs in Argentina and Mexico.

Broadening its traditional mission under De Lisi’s oversight, the GSE introduced a highly successful masters degree program in college student affairs and has developed a Ph.D. program in higher education that has been approved by the University’s Board of Governors and the State of NJ.  In 2010 Dean De Lisi led the GSE community to undergo a strategic planning initiative that updated the school’s vision and mission statements and articulated its goals for the next four years.  To reinforce the planning, the dean established the Goal Advancement Program in 2011 to fund projects and initiatives lead annually by GSE community members that address one or more of GSE’s goals.

De Lisi elevated the national influence of Rutgers GSE with his membership on the advisory boards of the Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, and his service as an executive committee member of the Organization of Institutional Affiliates of the American Educational Research Association and the Council of Academic Deans for Research Education Institutions. Dean De Lisi has been an outstanding citizen of Rutgers, serving as chair of the Periodic Review Report Committee, required for Middlestates Commission for Higher Education accreditation, as a faculty member in the Rutgers Pre-doctoral Leadership Development Institute, and as a member of numerous campus- and university-wide committees.

Dean De Lisi joined the GSE in 1976 as an assistant professor in the department of Educational Psychology.  He was elected to serve two, three-year terms as Chair of the department and was the inaugural director of the university’s first Ph.D. in Education in 1999.  In 2003, after the departure of Dean Louise C. Wilkinson, he was named as the GSE’s Acting Dean.  In 2005 he was officially appointed to serve as the Graduate School of Education’s eleventh dean.  He is looking forward to returning to the faculty in the fall of 2015 after a year of research leave.

“It has been an honor to serve as GSE’s dean. I very much believe in our School’s mission and the many positive contributions our community makes to society. The quality of students we garner and cultivate here at the GSE has amazed and impressed me ever since I came to Rutgers,” said De Lisi. “I’m very proud to have been able to work with so many excellent masters and doctoral students throughout my deanship and I look forward to becoming more involved with their work when I rejoin the faculty.”

Rutgers University recently announced that Dr. Wanda J. Blanchett, currently the Dean and Ewing Marion Kauffman/Missouri Endowed Chair for Teacher Education at the University of Missouri – Kansas City’s School of Education, will assume the role of Dean of the GSE on September 1, 2014.