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College of Education Dean Mary Ann Danowitz to Step Down

Poe Hall

After leading NC State’s College of Education since 2016, Dean Mary Ann Danowitz will return to the college’s faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development, effective Oct. 5, 2021.

“I appreciate Mary Ann’s leadership and respect the value she places on each and every student who comes through the college,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden. “Her advocacy for preparing teachers, school leaders, counselors, and community college and higher education leaders is an example for all those who value the profession to follow.”

Mary Ann DanowitzDanowitz joined the College of Education in 2012 as head of the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development and became dean in 2016. Working in partnership with the college’s faculty and staff, she has worked to elevate the college’s reputation across the campus, state and nation, and to position it as one of the strongest land-grant colleges of education in the world. 

During Danowitz’ tenure, the college has experienced four straight years of growth in new student enrollment. Additionally, the College of Education received funding to start the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, which supported all 58 of North Carolina’s community colleges in their transition to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research expenditures over the past five years have increased 39 percent, with 2020 seeing $13 million in research expenditures, more than any other college of education in the state.

U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked the college a top tier public college of education. For the second straight year, in 2020, the college was ranked in the top 40 nationally among all colleges of education, and among public colleges of education, NC State’s College of Education ranked No. 26.

Prior to joining NC State, Danowitz was the Austrian Science Fund Lise Meitner Senior Research Fellow and Visiting Professor/Lecturer in the Department of Management’s Institute of Gender and Diversity in Organizations at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria. She also has held administrative positions and been on the faculty at the University of Denver, The Ohio State University, the College of William and Mary and The Pennsylvania State University, including serving as professor and director of the Higher Education Program at the University of Denver and as interim director of the School of Educational Policy and Leadership at The Ohio State University.

Danowitz’s research focuses on gender, diversity and equity in the areas of leadership, governance, management, organizational change and careers, particularly regarding the higher education sector in the United States and Europe. 

Her numerous national and international honors include receiving the Finland Fulbright Inter-country Award, Australian American Educational Foundation Award, The Ohio State University’s Kathryn Schoen Award for Leadership, and the Hilda Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Education from the National Association for Women Deans, Administrators and Counselors. In addition, she chairs the NORDFORSK (Nordic Council of Ministers Organization that Funds and Facilitates Nordic Cooperation in Research) Scientific Advisor Panel on Gender and Diversity.

Danowitz received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Penn State, her master’s in education from the University of Miami, and her doctoral degree in education from Penn State. 

Paola Sztajn, a professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences and interim associate vice provost for academic personnel and policy, will become interim dean effective Oct. 5, 2021.

An announcement will be made in the fall about a national search for a permanent dean.

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