Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter today (Feb. 6) announced the appointment of Lauren E. Lindstrom as the new dean of the School of Education. She holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and most recently served as associate dean of Research and Faculty Development in the College of Education at the University of Oregon.
“Lauren has served with distinction at Oregon for 25 years, as an academic and administrator, and we are pleased to entrust her with the leadership of our School of Education,” Hexter said. “As a researcher, she is recognized internationally and nationally for her work in special education, in particular in assisting youth with disabilities in making the transition from high school to employment and post-secondary education opportunities.”
Lindstrom is scheduled to take up her new post on June 1, succeeding the school’s founding dean, Harold Levine, who served from 2001 until retiring in 2016. Hexter previously acknowledged Levine’s record of accomplishment as dean, and today the interim chancellor praised psychology professor Paul Hastings for his service as the interim dean.
Lindstrom’s time at the University of Oregon goes back even further than her career in the College of Education — back to the three degrees she earned there. She received a Bachelor of Science in human services, a Master of Science in special education and a Ph.D. based on her dissertation, “Patterns of Career Development: Case Studies of Young Women With Learning Disabilities Entering the Work Force.”
3 degrees and 25-year career at Oregon
She joined the College of Education as a researcher after earning her M.S., moved to the college’s faculty ranks after earning her Ph.D., and advanced to professor of family and human services. In 2009-10 she served as director of the Secondary Special Education and Transition Research Unit, dedicated to the understanding of adolescents and young adults with disabilities and other high-risk behaviors.
She served as associate dean of Research and Outreach, on an interim basis, in 2010-11, and became an interim department head in 2012, in Counseling Psychology and Human Services.
In the 2013-14 academic year, she served as associate dean of Research and Academics with responsibility for the college’s research and outreach units and four academic departments, and curriculum review policies and procedures. She has been associate dean of Research and Faculty Development since 2014, providing leadership and strategic direction for all externally funded research operations in the college ($42 million in total sponsored grants and contracts for fiscal year 2015-16), and coordinating and overseeing faculty orientation, tenure and promotion.
Improving educational outcomes
While serving as an associate dean, she has also been the director of the Center at Oregon for Research in Education, overseeing and coordinating eight externally funded research and outreach centers focused on improving educational outcomes for children and families, and playing a leadership role in communicating information about college research and outreach activities to internal and external audiences including government relations, the university development office and state agencies, and providing leadership for fiscal, personnel and policy decisions.
In 2014-15, she was the director and principal investigator of the Western Regional Resource Center, providing leadership and oversight to faculty and staff in a regional center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. In this position, she coordinated such services as technical assistance, consultation, training and dissemination of research best practices in the field of special education to the western states and Pacific territories.
Her scholarship focuses on career development and improving post-school employment outcomes for youth with disabilities. She also has expertise in autism and developmental disabilities, career and college readiness, families and poverty, and gender equity. Her publications include peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, and curriculum and training materials for education and rehabilitation professionals.
Cited by Zero Project for ‘Innovative Practice’
Incoming Dean Lindstrom’s career development curriculum, “Paths 2 the Future” for high school girls with disabilities, was recently selected for recognition as an “Innovative Practice” by the Zero Project, an international organization dedicated to increasing access and removing barriers for people with disabilities worldwide. With a specific focus on increasing access to employment, vocational education and training, the 2017 Zero Project report provides selected international examples of both “Innovative Practice” and “Innovative Policy” designed to support effective implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Later this month she will attend the Zero Project Conference at the U.N. Office/Vienna International Centre in Vienna, where she will participate in a panel discussion on “Transition Models That Start in Secondary School and High School.” She’s also due to receive the aforementioned “Innovative Practice” award, her second from Zero Project.
She’s spoken previously at the Zero Project annual conference on her work with the Oregon Youth Transition Program, or YTP — a statewide outreach effort involving 115 high schools and a 25-year track record of helping high school-age youth with disabilities make the transition from high school to independent, adult life.
She was the YTP project director in 2013 when the program received an Employment for All Award from the European Association of Service Providers for Persons With Disabilities.
Principal member of scientific peer review panel
Her national service includes an appointment since 2013 as a principal member on the Special Education Scientific Peer Review Panel for the Institute of Educational Sciences, invited to serve by the U.S. Department of Education. She is an associate editor of the journal Remedial and Special Education, and she served as guest editor for a 2014 special issue of Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, focused on disability and poverty.
In 2015, she was among 14 recipients of the University of Oregon’s Fund for Faculty Excellence Award, recognizing “the significant impact of your scholarly work and your enduring commitment and contribution to our shared institutional spirit of learning, intellectual inquiry and service.”
Her other university honors include a 2010 Diversity Award in the College of Education, in recognition of outstanding service to the college and local community for advancing work in the area of diversity, and a Research Innovation Award in 2008.