Austin recommended as interim dean of MSU College of Education

March 23, 2021

University Distinguished Professor Ann E. Austin will be recommended for the position of interim dean of the Michigan State University College of Education, beginning on July 1, 2021.

Austin will step into the role after Dean Robert E. Floden returns to the faculty for a final year leading up to his retirement. She is expected to serve as interim dean as the international search for the next dean continues. Austin will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

Photo of Ann Austin

“I am grateful for Dr. Austin’s willingness to step into this leadership position during a time of transition for the College of Education, and for Dean Floden’s stewardship of the college during what has been a tumultuous year for us all,” said Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D.

Woodruff announced she would be recommending Austin to the MSU Board of Trustees after consulting with the college Faculty Advisory Committee chair, Dan Gould, and co-chairs of the Dean’s Search Committee, Emily Bouck and Phil Duxbury.

Austin is currently associate dean for research in the College of Education, where she has been a faculty member in the Department of Educational Administration since 1991. She is a renowned leader in the field of higher education, both in the U.S. and internationally, with a particular focus on faculty development across the career stages. Her work has centered on improving teaching and learning, organizational change, and creating more inclusive higher education environments, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

At the university level, she is assistant provost for faculty and academic staff development – career paths, a role in which she develops and implements approaches to support the professional development of faculty members across the various appointment types and career stages.

Austin was named a University Distinguished Professor, one of the highest honors at MSU, in 2019. Read the story for more details about her career.

“The opportunity to serve the College of Education and MSU as the interim dean, while we search for a permanent dean, is a great honor,” Austin said. “I am especially eager to work collaboratively with the wonderful and dedicated faculty, staff and students in the college as we build on and advance the college’s long-standing contributions to educational excellence and equity through our teaching, research and outreach.

“In this period of challenge, we have an opportunity to bring fresh perspectives on high-quality education to the university, state, nation and world.”

About the search

In October, Floden announced his plans to return to the faculty for one final year. He will retire in June 2022 after 45 years at MSU.

Members of the search committee are engaged in identifying a strong candidate pool and leading the search for the permanent College of Education dean, in collaboration with search firm Isaacson, Miller.  

For updates throughout the process, visit the Dean’s Search webpage.