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University of Iowa News Release


March 24, 2011

Editor's note: Crocco is pronounced "Crock – o"

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Margaret Crocco to lead University of Iowa College of Education as new dean
Margaret Crocco, professor and chair of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Teachers College, Columbia University, has been named the 15th dean of the University of Iowa College of Education, UI Interim Executive Vice President and Provost P. Barry Butler announced today. Her appointment will begin July 1 pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

"I am honored to have been selected to this leadership position at such an outstanding public university," said Crocco, who is a professor of social studies and education and coordinator of the Social Studies and Education at Teacher's College.

Crocco said she was drawn to the UI College of Education because of Iowa's proud tradition of civic engagement and the UI's reputation for excellence as a high profile, first-rate public university, with a number of the college's graduate programs recognized among the best in the nation by U.S.News and World Report.

"I'm excited about helping to foster relationships and projects that highlight the unique contributions public universities make to our democracy, and that colleges of education make to our traditions of democratic dialogue and civic engagement," Crocco said.

Crocco is a nationally recognized leader in diversity issues in social studies education, the history of citizenship education and social studies teacher education.

She received her bachelor's degree in philosophy from Georgetown University and her master's and doctoral degrees in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught American studies at the University of Maryland; American and women's history at Drew, Montclair State and William Paterson Universities; and within the Texas community college system.

Crocco joined the Teachers College faculty in 1993 after eight years teaching and administering at a high school in Summit, N.J. She has received numerous grants related to women's history, African American history and inclusive curriculum. Most recently, Crocco has served as editor and project leader for the "Teaching 'The Levees'" curriculum, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and based on Spike Lee's award-winning film, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts."

"Professor Crocco will bring a vast amount of expertise, energy and enthusiasm for the field of education to the position of dean, especially given her outstanding track record and proven leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University," UI President Sally Mason said. "UI College of Education faculty, staff and students make major contributions to the field of education across our state, nation and world through their teaching, research, service and outreach. We are confident that Professor Crocco will continue to advance the important work of this college and build on the tradition of excellence that contributes so much to Iowa as the education state."

Butler agreed. "Professor Crocco is a wonderful fit for the University of Iowa and for the College of Education. I couldn't be happier that she's agreed to join our leadership team."

As dean, Crocco will be chief administrator for approximately 533 teacher education undergraduates, 648 graduate students, 95 staff members and 90 faculty who teach students in the College of Education's four departments: Rehabilitation and Counselor Education; Teaching and Learning; Educational Policy and Leadership Studies; and Psychological and Quantitative Foundations. Crocco will also be involved with fundraising and statewide community and school relations.

The College of Education is also home to the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development; Iowa Testing Programs (best known for development of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development); the Center for Evaluation and Assessment; the Center for Advanced Studies in Measurement and Assessment; the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education; and the Realizing Education and Career Hopes (REACH) Program.

Crocco replaces Sandra Bowman Damico, who is leaving the deanship after 12 years to pursue other opportunities.

Mason praised Damico for her more than a decade of leadership, including being a champion of diversity, overseeing the creation of the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (I-CATER) during her tenure, and implementing a standard that every College of Education graduate gain cutting-edge technological skills by creating an e-Portfolio, an interactive, Web-based body of their work as students and student practitioners.
"Sandy infused a vision into our College of Education that promoted innovation, ensuring all graduates were able to integrate technology into the classroom, especially assistive technology," Mason said. "We are grateful to Sandy for all that she has done for our institution, the state of Iowa and the field of education."

Damico said Crocco will bring a great blend of leadership and scholarship to the position of dean.

"Margaret Crocco will make an excellent dean leading our high caliber faculty, staff and students. She brings to the position a wide variety of teaching, administrative and leadership experiences that will enable her to lead the UI College of Education to the next level of national recognition," Damico said. "I am confident she will bring her charisma, compassion and commitment to the field of education to this position and will make substantial contributions to the field during a dynamic and difficult time for higher education across the nation."

Crocco was selected as dean after a search process that started last summer reviewed more than 100 nominees and brought four finalists to campus for interviews in January and February.

Search committee members included Donald Letendre, professor and dean, College of Pharmacy and search committee chair; Peter Hlebowitsh, professor and department executive officer, Department of Teaching and Learning, and search committee vice-chair; Susan Assouline, associate director of the Belin-Blank Center and professor in the Department of Psychological and Quantitative Studies; Susan Birrell, professor, Department of American Studies and Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; William Coghill-Behrends, associate director, Educational Placement Office in the UI College of Education; Ann Feldmann, associate superintendent, Iowa City Community School District; Deborah Green, director of development, UI Foundation, for the College of Education; and William Liu, professor, Department of Psychological and Quantitative Studies in the College of Education.

Also serving on the committee were Yaniz Padilla, graduate fellow, Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education in College of Education; Judith Putney, administrative assistant, College of Pharmacy; Katrina Sanders, associate professor, Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies in the College of Education; Cyndie Schmeiser, education division president and chief operating officer, ACT; James Stachowiak, associate director, the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research I-CATER); Vilia Tarvydas, professor, Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education in the UI College of Education; William Therrien, associate professor, Department of Teaching and Learning; and Sara Wolfson, professor emerita, Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Kris Yows, Office of the Provost, 319-335-3566,; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077 (office),; Writer, Lois J. Gray