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New Graduate School of Education Dean: Andrew Porter of Vanderbilt
February 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 24

Andrew Porter

Dr. Andrew C. Porter, the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Leadership Policy and Organization and Director of the Learning Sciences Institute in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University, has been named Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. His appointment is effective August 1, 2007.

A nationally-known scholar and educator, Dr. Porter is an expert in quantitative methods. He also has a deep understanding and appreciation for the important role that historical and qualitative approaches play in understanding the processes of education and human development.

“Andy Porter has a broad and inspiring vision of the role that a leading school of education can play in today’s world—locally, nationally and globally. He is enthusiastic about building upon Penn GSE’s impressive contributions to educational research, teaching, practice and policy and expanding GSE’s interdisciplinary collaborations across Penn,” President Amy Gutmann said.

Dr. Porter received his B.S. in 1963 from Indiana State University and his M.S. in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1967 in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin. In addition to faculty appointments at Indiana State University (Summer 1967) and Michigan State University (1967-88), where he was Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Study (1981-85), Dr. Porter was a Visiting Scholar at the National Institute of Education in 1973-74, when he served as Chief of the Methodology and Measurement Division, and again in 1975-76, when he served as Associate Director in Charge of the Basic Skills Group. In 1988, he returned to the University of Wisconsin as professor of educational psychology and Director of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, which became, under his leadership, the largest research center on the Madison campus, involving 350 faculty and staff, and growing from a $4-million to a $30-million annual budget. Dr. Porter has been at Vanderbilt University since 2003. 

“Andy Porter’s energy, experience and enthusiasm are the perfect catalyst to lead GSE into an even brighter future,” Provost Ron Daniels said.

A former president of the American Education Research Association, in 2001, Dr. Porter was elected a member of the National Academy of Education in 1994, has been Vice President of the Academy since 2005 and is a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies.

A native of Huntington, PA, Dr. Porter is a present or past member of a dozen scholarly editorial and advisory boards, including the Journal of Teacher Education, the American Educational Researcher, Educational Researcher, the Teachers College Record, the American Journal of Education, the Review of Educational Research, Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the Journal of Education Statistics, the Review of Research in Education, the Journal of Education Research, Evaluation Quarterly and the American Education Research Journal.  He has also served as Chair of the Publications and Editorial Advisory Board of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. A prolific scholar, he is the author or co-author of 38 book chapters, more than 50 scholarly articles and dozens of technical reports.

The selection of Dr. Porter as the next GSE Dean concludes a semester-long search to find a successor to Dean Susan Fuhrman (Almanac May 23, 2006).

Almanac - February 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 24